Leskera Law Firm Collinsville IL
Leskera Law Firm

120 East Church Street

Collinsville, IL  62234

The Workers’ Compensation Act provides that accidents that arise out of and in the course of employment are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This generally means that the Act covers injuries that result in whole or in part from the employee’s work.  Most injured employees receive three benefits: medical expenses, pay while off work, and a settlement at the end of the case.  Leskera Law Firm is experienced in handling all issues of a workers’ compensation case.

What benefits does the Workers’ Compensation Act provide?

a) Medical care that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the employee of the effects of the injury;
b) Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits while the employee is off work, recovering from the injury;
c) Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits while the employee is recovering from the injury but working on light duty for less compensation;
d) Vocational rehabilitation/maintenance benefits are provided to an injured employee who is participating in an approved vocational rehabilitation program;
e) Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits for an employee who sustains some permanent disability or disfigurement, but can work;
f) Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits for an employee who is rendered permanently unable to work;

What medical benefits are covered under the Act for work-related injuries?

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.

What are 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.  The calculation of AWW can be complicated and will depend on the facts of each case.  Generally, AWW is based on  the  employee’s  gross  (pre-tax)  wages  during  the  52  weeks  before  the  date  of injury  or  exposure.   However, the calculation  of  AWW  may  be  affected  by  many different  factors, including, but not limited to: if the employee had more than one job at the time of the injury, worked less than 52 weeks, or on a casual basis.

What is permanent partial disability (PPD)?

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  PPD  determination is not made 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.  If the employee returns to work, the PPD award is usually calculated by determining the percentage of disability, determining the number of weeks payable based on the disability, and multiplying the weeks by the employee’s PPD rate which is 60% of the employee’s average weekly wage.

What is permanent total disability (PTD)?

PTD is available where an employee is unable to return to any type of work.  The legal definition is that the employee has “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 claimant 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.  If  a  case  is  decided  by  an  arbitrator,  an  employee  will  be  entitled  to  cost-of-living  adjustments
An  employee  may receive  both a workers’ compensation settlement and Social Security Disability but the settlement contract must be carefully prepared to include spread language to ensure the SS benefits are not reduced by the workers’ compensation settlement.

My employer fired me because I got hurt can they do that?

You may be a valued employee of your company.  Then you get hurt on the job.  Often an employee who gets hurt on the job is treated differently by the employer.  On some occasions, the employer goes so far as to discharge the worker for some bogus reason when the real reason is the workers’ compensation injury and claim.  When this occurs, you have a claim for retaliatory discharge under the Workers’ Compensation Act.  The elements for sustaining a cause of action for retaliatory discharge include: (1) the employer discharged the employee; (2) the discharge was in retaliation for the employee’s activities (causation); and (3) the discharge violates a clear mandate of public policy.  Leskera Law Firm has represented clients in retaliatory discharge cases.  We uncover the facts necessary to prove the case.