Work Comp. Questions Answered.
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
What do workers' comp attorneys do?
Workers’ compensation attorneys serve both injured workers and employers under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission) system. Regardless of which side of the case they serve, a workers’ compensation attorney will typically assist clients with collecting and developing medical evidence, negotiating with the other side regarding the coverage of benefits and potential settlement of the claim, and making arguments and appearances for their clients before the Commission during pretrial conferences, trials, and appeals.
In the initial stages of litigation, a workers’ compensation attorney will typically review the facts of the case and injury to assess the value of the claim in terms of the amount of compensation that may be due, arrange new medical treatment, subpoena prior medical records, and arrange for medical evaluations to provide an authoritative opinion on future medical needs.
Once the initial stage has been completed, the attorney will then typically negotiate with the other side regarding any benefits that the injured worker may be owed. If negations fail, the attorneys may have a pre-trial before the arbitrator and present arguments regarding what they think the claim is worth and what benefits should be awarded. If the case is still not resolved, the workers’ compensation attorneys will then set the case for trial, at which time they will present witnesses, medical evidence, and expert testimony. Following the arbitrator’s decision at trial, they may also appeal the matter first to a Commission arbitrator panel and then to the Illinois Circuit Court from there.
Which entity governs workers' compensation law?
Workers’ compensation law in the state of Illinois is governed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission). As authorized by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (Act), this is an administrative law body that conducts hearings on legal and factual issues in a case, provides recommendations regarding prospective settlements, provides rulings on the compensable nature of a claim and extent or lack thereof at trial, and hears appeals of trial decisions. The Commission is primarily represented by arbitrators, who are appointed by the governor of Illinois and act as administrative law judges. These arbitrators act and function like judges and provide rulings in the litigation of workers’ compensation claims. The Commission is ultimately run by a Chairman, under whom there are also three appellate panels of commissioners to hear appeals of trial decisions. These panels have 3 commissioners, one to represent employees, one to represent public representatives, and one to represent employers.
How is workers' comp calculated for employers?
Workers’ compensation benefits are calculated on a weekly basis using a percentage of an employee’s weekly pay. Benefits can take the form of different payments depending on the type of disability. The forms are as follows: Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Total Disability (PTD), Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), and Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). TTD, which compensates an employee for the time he misses off work due to work-related disability, is paid in the amount of 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage. PTD, which is paid for a complete disability that renders a worker completely unable to do any kind of work for which there is a reasonably stable employment market, pays them 2/3 of this average weekly wage each week for life. TPD is paid for the time that an injured worker is healing and works light duty or part-time and earns less than their normal earnings. TPD is paid in the amount of 2/3 of the differential between the petitioner’s pre-injury average weekly wage and post-injury average weekly wage each week. PPD benefits are paid at 60% of the worker’s average weekly wage.
If you have questions regarding workers' compensation, please feel free to contact the Illinois workers' compensation attorneys at Imeri Rogers, LLP.