Workers’ Compensation FAQ

Do You Have Questions About Your Work Injury Claim?

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation system is designed to enable you to obtain medical care and recover lost wages when you get hurt at work. Although your rights as an injured worker are spelled out in the IWCC’s Handbook On Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases, the laws are complicated and confusing, and it can be difficult to understand how to apply them to unique circumstances. To make matters worse, companies don’t always pay out like they should. That’s where we come in.

With more than 100 years combined experience in helping injured workers obtain successful verdicts and substantial cash settlements, our attorneys understand Illinois Workers’ Compensation law. There is no substitute for personalized legal representation and we welcome the opportunity to provide your with the answers you need during your free consultation. In the meantime, however,  this guide will help answer some of the most frequently asked questions our clients ask about workers’ compensation laws in Illinois.

How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Illinois?

Multiple deadlines apply to workers’ compensation cases in Illinois.

  • You have just 45 days from the date of your accident or when you became aware of your injury to notify your employer.
  • Generally, workers have three years to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission or two years from when the employee last received benefits payments.
  • In some cases, the death of an employee or certain occupational diseases may have different time limits.

Can I Get Fired for Making a Workers’ Comp Claim?

Absolutely not. Illinois law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. Your employer may not fire you, withhold promotions, or otherwise punish you for filing a claim.

What If I’m Unable to Work Because of My Injuries?

If you’re temporarily unable to work, you may be entitled to Temporary Total Disability benefits. You’ll receive approximately ⅔ of your average weekly wages until you’re able to return to work or you reach maximum medical improvement. If you are permanently unable to work, you may qualify for lost wage benefits and medical care for life. These benefits are tax-free.

How Long Will My Case Take?

The average workers’ compensation claim is on file for 16 months. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the complexities involved in the case, however, your claim could take just a few months or several years.

How Much Are Attorney’s Fees in a Workers’ Compensation Case?

The simple answer is 20% of your total recovery. However, the attorneys at Martay Law Office do not take any of your medical payments or TTD benefits as long as they are not under dispute. And since our firm fronts all the expenses on your claim including subpoena fees, deposition fees and trial costs, you won’t owe us anything out of pocket. We recover those costs out of the settlement amount or trial award.

What if Someone Else Caused My Workplace Injury?

If your work-related injury is caused by a coworker employed by the same company, generally workers’ compensation will cover medical bills and lost wages. If your injuries were caused by malfunctioning equipment or faulty safety gear, you may also have a defective products claim against the manufacturer. If a contractor or another worker employed by a different company caused your accident, that party may be able to be held accountable.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

The majority of workers’ compensation claims settle prior to going to trial. Our attorneys will make every effort to get you the best possible settlement offer. If our attempts are unsuccessful, it may be necessary to bring your case to trial. We will provide you with detailed advice on whether we feel your case should settle or proceed to trial. In the end, it is your decision to either settle the claim or go to trial. We will not advise you to settle your claim if we feel the settlement offer is not fair. Our experienced trial attorneys have no problem trying a case before an Arbitrator if it is in your best interests.