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Workers' Compensation

Workers' Compensation
Work-related injuries can happen anywhere, and no industry or sector of employment is immune from accidents.  Countless jobs today have workers “out in the field” delivering things, showing samples, and otherwise exposing themselves to potential injury.  In fact, even many people who believe they are "independent contractors" may be covered under workers' compensation.  Attorney Stephen Hoffman has represented injured workers and employees in a host of different fields of employment and has helped them to secure adequate compensation for their injuries.

Common workplace injuries

Work-related injuries do not always occur the way we often assume, with the great traumatic force of a roofer falling off a roof or a factory worker getting his hand caught in a machine.  Sometimes, people carrying samples from their car to a sales office injure their back or are struck by another vehicle when driving to a work appointment. Attorney Stephen Hoffman represented the C.E.O. of a corporation who ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee simply turning around to answer an employee’s question while unpacking a box of delivered items.  Other typical cases involve people who perform the same repetitive motion daily, such as typing.  Still other work injuries can be caused by the normal slips, trips, and falls that unfortunately do happen.  In addition, many people do not even realize that if they are driving for work purposes and are injured in an automobile collision, they can collect under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is essentially a “no fault” law and differs from the need to prove negligence or fault, as in other areas of personal injury law.  In essence, when you are injured while working doing what you are supposed to be doing, you can recover against your employer.  Your recovery is based upon your wages, your injury, and other factors.  While the law is imperfect, it does provide an avenue for injured workers to receive compensation for their injuries. Specifically, the law in Illinois provides injured employees with payment for time lost from work (TTD-Temporary Total Disability), payment for medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury, and compensation based upon the severity and permanency of the injury (PPD-Permanent Partial Disability).  In select situations, the law also provides for people who are so severely injured that they cannot return to their job and must be retrained at the employer’s expense and/or paid a life-long stipend (PTD-Permanent Total Disability).  In addition, the law sets forth penalties and interest for the unreasonable delay in paying benefits determined to be due to the injured person.  Unfortunately, it is often essential to have a workers' compensation lawyer such as Stephen Hoffman representing you, as the insurance carrier for the employer will often ignore unrepresented claimants.

Attorney’s Fees

Workers’ Compensation statutes outline a contingent fee arrangement.  In most cases, the attorney’s fees are capped at 20% of the recovery, and there are no filing fees, allowing every injured worker to have access to the system. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation laws are extremely complicated and often arcane.  Very few people are aware of what constitutes a compensable injury, the “damages” to which they may be entitled, or even how to file a claim.  It can be flat out confusing, perhaps intentionally so.  In this context, it is easy for injured workers to fall victim to the plans and devises of employers and insurance companies, who are exerting every effort to deny claims for coverage. If you are injured on the job site, consult a lawyer immediately to determine what rights you may have under the Act.  Attorney Stephen Hoffman has been representing injured parties for over 25 years.  Contact the Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman today to schedule a free consultation.  Visit the Results page to learn how Stephen has helped other injured workers receive compensation for their injuries.

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