1. You get to decide which doctor is going to treat you. The employer can recommend a doctor, but you get to decide if you will let their doctor treat you. If not, you get to choose ONE doctor and all the referrals from that doctor. So, before you pick a doctor, make certain he/she is willing to accept payment under Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (many aren't). Also, you have to hope your doctor is willing to give a deposition (his recorded testimony) and understands the standards of law used in Illinois. The choice of doctor might be even more critical than your choice of lawyer. If you aren't sure about all of these things then, for crying out loud, talk to an experienced workers' compensation lawyer! Call Law Office of Keith Short 1-800-421-0960 or 618-655-9499
2. You are entitled to receive weekly pay while you are injured and cannot work. This benefit is called "Temporary Total Disability" (TTD) and is equal to 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage. It is not taxable and is paid only if your doctor says, usually in writing, you are unable to work or you have work restrictions your employer cannot accommodate. If you aren't being paid TTD or are being paid at the wrong rate then hire a lawyer.
3. Immediately report your injury to your supervisor. The law requires that you give your employer notice of the injury within 45 days of its occurrence. Don't wait. Tell your supervisor as soon as you're injured and complete the Form 45 first report of injury. Make certain to note any witnesses to the accident. DO NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY OR YOUR EMPLOYER.
4. Insurance companies and employers are not on your side. Even if the insurance company accepts the claim and pays you some benefits, you must remember that the insurance adjuster's job is to pay you as little as the law will allow---or nothing at all if she can figure out how. They want to limit your medical care, limit your weekly benefit check and pay you as little as they can to settle the case. Statistics prove that workers who hire an attorney receive more money (even after paying the attorney) than workers who simply accept what the insurance company offers.
5. Law Office of Keith Short does not charge a retainer...we don't bill hourly...you'll never receive a bill from us. We only get paid when you get paid -- the more you get, the more we get. We're in this together. That said, our primary goal is to maximize your medical care. No one ever got rich off of workers' compensation. You need to get as healthy as you can and get back to work as soon as you can--it's the best thing for you. Once we get you back to work, we'll do all we can to get you all you deserve. Call Law Office of Keith Short 1-800-421-0960 or 618-655-9499