Orland Park Workplace Accident Lawyer

Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney in the Southwest Suburbs

Illinois workers' compensation is essentially a no-fault system, meaning if you are injured on the job, you are entitled to compensation. Despite this, some employers still pressure workers not to file claims. Some employers are known to push back, claiming an injury is not work-related.

For over 30 years we have protected injured workers in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Joliet, Chicago, Midlothian, Alsip, Lansing, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Palos Hills, Oak Lawn, Hickory Hills, Orland Hills, Lemont, New Lenox, Homer Glen, Chicago Ridge, Willow Springs, South Holland, Olympia Fields, Matteson, Markham, Harvey, Lynwood, LaGrange, Homewood, Evergreen Park, Dolton, Crestwood, Blue Island, Beecher, Romeoville, Crete, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Plainfield, Steger and Wilmington, by filing Workers’ Compensation Claims and getting our clients the money they deserve.

What Benefits Am I Entitled To If I Am Injured On The Job?

Illinois Law provides that an injured worker is entitled to the following:

Medical Benefits

The employer is required to pay for all medical care that is reasonably necessary to cure or relieve the employee from the effects of the injury. This includes, but is not limited to first aid, emergency care, doctor visits, hospital care, surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, pharmaceuticals, prosthetic devices, and prescribed medical appliances.

The cost of devices, such as a shoe lift or a wheelchair, may be covered. If the work injuries result in a disability that requires physical modifications to the employee’s home, such as a wheelchair ramp, the employer may have to pay those costs as well.

If the employer does not dispute a medical bill, it will pay the medical provider directly.

The employee is not required to pay co-payments or deductibles, unless the service is covered under a group health plan.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits

TTD is the benefit that an injured employee receives during the period in which the employee is either: (a) temporarily unable to return to any work, as indicated by his or her doctor, or (b) is released to do light-duty work but whose employer is unable to accommodate him or her.

The employer pays TTD benefits to an injured employee until the employee has returned to work or has reached maximum medical improvement or “MMI.”

The TTD benefit is two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the employee’s average weekly wage, subject to minimum and maximum limits.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits

TPD is the benefit that may be received during the period in which an injured employee is still healing and is working light duty, on a part-time or full-time basis, and earning less than he or she would earn in the pre-injury employment. The employer pays TPD benefits to an injured employee until the employee has returned to his or her regular job or has reached maximum medical improvement.

For injuries that occurred before June 28, 2011, the TPD benefit is two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the difference between the average amount the employee would be able to earn in the pre-injury job(s) and the net amount he or she earns in the light-duty job.

For injuries that occurred on or after June 28, 2011, the TPD benefit is two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the difference between the average amount the employee would be able to earn in the pre-injury job(s) and the gross amount he or she earns in the light-duty job.

Vocational Rehabilitation/Maintenance Benefits

Vocational rehabilitation includes but is not limited to counseling for job searches, supervising a job search program, and vocational retraining, including education at an accredited learning institution.

If the employee cannot return to the pre-injury job, the employer must pay for treatment, instruction, and training necessary for the physical, mental, and vocational rehabilitation of the employee, including all maintenance costs and incidental expenses. The employee must cooperate in a reasonable rehabilitation program. The employee may choose the provider of such reasonable vocational rehabilitation services or may accept the services of a provider selected by the employer.

An employee is entitled to maintenance benefits, plus costs and expenses incidental to the vocational rehabilitation program.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits

PPD is:

a) the complete or partial loss of a part of the body; or
b) the complete or partial loss of use of a part of the body; or
c) the partial loss of use of the body as a whole.

“Loss of use” is not specifically defined in the law, but it generally means the employee is unable to do things he or she was able to do before the injury.

The Commission cannot make a PPD determination until the employee has reached maximum medical improvement or “MMI.” PPD is paid only if the job-related injury results in some permanent physical loss.

There are four types of PPD benefits:

  1. Wage differential (Section 8(d)(1) of Workers’ Compensation Act)
    If, due to the injury, the employee obtains a new job that pays less than the pre-injury employment, he or she may be entitled to receive a wage differential award. The wage differential award is two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the difference between the amount the employee earns in the new job and the amount he or she would be earning in their prior employment.

    For injuries that occur before September 1, 2011, benefits shall be paid for the life of the employee. For injuries that occur on or after September 1, 2011, benefits shall be paid for five years after the date of the award or until the employee reaches age 67, whichever is later.

    An employee may be compensated for either the loss of wages or the permanent disability related to the same injury, but not both.

  2. Schedule of injuries (Section 8(e) of Workers’ Compensation Act)
    The Act sets a value on certain body parts, expressed as a number of weeks of compensation for each part. The number of weeks is then multiplied by 60% of the employee’s Average Weekly Wage. If a body part is amputated or if it cannot be used at all, that represents a 100% loss, and the employee is awarded the entire number of weeks listed on the chart. If the employee sustains a partial loss, the benefit is calculated by multiplying the percentage of loss by the number of weeks listed.

  3. Non-schedule injuries (person as a whole) (Section 8(d)2)
    If the condition is not listed on the schedule of injuries, but it imposes certain limitations, the employee may be entitled to a percentage of 500 weeks of benefits, based on the loss of the person as a whole. The number of weeks is then multiplied times 60% of the employee’s Average Weekly Wage.

    As an Example:

    An employee earning $500/week suffers a back injury that is determined to have caused a 10% loss of the person as a whole.

    PPD weekly rate = $500 X 60% = $300
    Number of weeks = 500 weeks X 10% = 50 weeks
    PPD benefit = 50 weeks X $300 = $15,000

  4. Disfigurement (Section 8(c) of Workers’ Compensation Act)
    An employee who suffers a serious and permanent disfigurement to the head, face, neck, chest above the armpits, arm, hand, or leg below the knee, is entitled to a maximum of 162 weeks of benefits at the PPD rate. The number of weeks is then multiplied by 60% of the employee’s Average Weekly Wage.

    A scar must heal for at least six months before a hearing to assess the disfigurement can be held.

    An employee may not collect compensation for disfigurement and the loss of use for the same body part. For example, a person who undergoes carpal tunnel surgery and is found to have experienced some loss of use, may be awarded a benefit based on the body part or on the disfigurement from the surgery scars, but not both.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits

PTD is either:

  • The permanent and complete loss of use of both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs, both eyes, or any two such parts, e.g., one leg and one arm; or
  • A complete disability that renders the employee permanently unable to do any kind of work for which there is a reasonably stable employment market.

A person who is found to be permanently and totally disabled is entitled to a weekly benefit equal to two-thirds (66 2/3%) of his or her average weekly wage, subject to minimum and maximum limits, for life.

Death/Survivors’ Benefits

For injuries resulting in death that occurred after February 1, 2006, a burial benefit of $8,000 is provided to the survivor or the person paying for the burial.

The survivor’s death benefit is two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the employee’s gross average weekly wage during the 52 weeks before the injury, subject to minimum and maximum limits.

If you have been injured on the job, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law is there to help you through a tough time, but you need an experienced Orland Park Workers’ Compensation attorney to ensure you get the full benefits to which you are entitled.

Contact us today for a free consultation and to schedule an appointment. You pay no attorney’s fees until we recovery for you. Call our Orland Park offices at 708-633-6005 or email us. If you have been injured on the job in the Southwest Suburbs in Cook County of Will County, call our offices.

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005