Smoler Law Office – Chicago, Illinois

1.  What kind of cases does your law office handle?

Any case where someone has been injured or killed in an accident. This includes job accidents, car accidents, slip and falls and medical malpractice.


2. Does it depend on where I live if you can handle my case?

Our office handles cases in Chicago and Cook County as well as the surrounding Collar counties. Further, often it depends on where your accident happened and not where you live as to the jurisdiction for your case. If we are unable to handle your case due to the location of the accident we may be able to assist you in locating an attorney in your area.


3.  What kinds of work-related injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?

Generally, any traumatic injury which is causally related to your job such as back and neck injuries, injuries to the shoulders, arms, hands, legs, knees and feet, from strains to fractures to herniated discs. There is also coverage for repetitive trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and other diseases, illnesses and exposures. Consult an attorney who concentrates in workers’ compensation law to obtain an opinion whether your injury is covered.


4. I had a work-related injury on the job. What should I do first?

In order to comply with all the conditions specified in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act it is recommended that you consult with an attorney who concentrates in worker’s compensation law. The Law Offices of Smoler Law Office concentrates in workers’ compensation law and there is no charge for consultation.


5. Do I need to notify my employer of my job accident?

Yes, you must notify your employer immediately of your work-related injury. However, the act allows for benefit if you notify your employer within 45 days of the injury.


6. My employer has not sent me to a doctor for my injury, what should I do?

You must seek immediate medical attention to document your injury and begin your recovery.  The act provides for an injured employee to choose his/her own doctor. However, there are certain conditions on the number of medical providers your employer may be responsible for paying.


7. My medical bills are not getting paid. Is my employer responsible for paying these expenses?

Your employer is responsible for 100% of all reasonable and necessary medical, hospital and surgical expenses related to your job injury. However, these expenses must comply with certain restrictions in the act. Medical expenses are an important part of your benefits and an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help protect your rights to payment of your medical expenses by your employer.


8. Am I entitled to benefits while I am off of work due to a job-related injury?

You are entitled to temporary total compensation (TTD) while you are authorized off of work by a medical practitioner. TTD is paid based upon a calculation of two-thirds multiplied by your average weekly wage (AWW). Generally, your AWW is based upon your earnings for the year prior to the accident. We recommend you preserve your check stubs for the year before your accident in order to document your AWW if there exists a dispute in this regard.


9. I have been off of work due to a work-related injury but I have not received my TTD. What can I do?

The act provides for the payment of TTD within 14 days of the date you notified your employer of the injury. If your benefits have been delayed an experienced workers’ compensation can help in getting your benefits started. If there is an unreasonable delay in paying your TTD, it may be necessary for your attorney to file a petition on your behalf at the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission to fight for your benefits.


10. My employer has paid my TTD and my medical expenses. Am I entitled to any other benefits?

Yes. Even if your employer has complied with the act and paid your TTD and medical expenses you are entitled to compensation for the permanent nature of your injury, which is called a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). A lawyer concentrating in workers’ compensation can insure that your settlement is in accord with the permanent nature of your injury. If an offer is not fair then it may be necessary for you and your attorney to proceed to a hearing before an arbitrator at the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission to fight for your compensation.


11. I have received an offer on my claim. What are rights?

If you accept an offer you will be closing out all your rights in the case. This means you will be giving up the right to a trial before an arbitrator, the right to appeal the arbitrator’s decision to the Commission, your right to any further medical treatment, at your employer’s expense, for the results of this injury and your right to any additional benefits if your condition worsens as a result of this injury.

If you do not accept the offer and proceed to trial, an arbitrator will make a determination of how much you will receive in an award. The arbitrator is not bound by any offers made and your award may be the same, less or more than the offer. Either party may appeal the arbitrator’s award to the Commission on Review. A panel of three commissioners would review the decision and may increase it, decrease it or keep it the same. If you receive an award for your injury you will also preserve your rights under the Act pursuant to Sections 8(a) and 19(h).

Section 8(a) allows you the right to pursue further medical treatment for the remainder of your life, at your employer’s expense, as long as you can prove your treatment is reasonable, necessary and causally connected to your injury. Your employer is not obligated to pay these expenses until after the treatment is incurred and can require you to file a Petition before the Commission to prove the medical expenses are reasonable, necessary and causally connected to your accident.
Section 19(h) allows you the right to pursue further benefits for your temporary total disability and your permanent partial disability for a period of 30 months after the award of the Commission. You would have to file a Petition before the Commission to prove that any further worsening of your condition or any lost time is causally connected to your injury. If a Petition is not filed within the 30 month period then the rights under Section 19(h) will be waived.

Further, if you suffer a re-injury to the same part of the body the causal connection to your original injury may no longer exist and your Section 8(a) and 19(h) rights may not be awarded. However, if your re-injury is from another job accident you would be entitled to further medical treatment, temporary total disability (lost time money) and permanent partial disability (injury money) for the new injury. You must report the accident immediately, request to see the company doctor and immediately call our office at (312) 332-9800.


12. Do I need an attorney to represent me regarding my workers’ compensation claim?

It is not required to have an attorney represent you in order to proceed with your workers’ compensation claim. However, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides for you to hire an attorney on a contingency basis wherein you only pay the attorney based on a percentage of the recovery and only when and if you recover. Further, this will allow you to have an attorney on your side that will advise you concerning your benefits. This will put you on an even playing field with your employer who is being advised by their insurance company and their attorneys.


13. When should I hire an attorney?

You can best protect your rights by retaining an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation from the very beginning of your claim. This will not cost you an additional fee but will provide you with professional legal guidance throughout your claim and will help you avoid making mistakes that may be very costly to your receipt of all the benefits your are entitled to under the act. The law offices of Smoler Law Office Are available for a free evaluation of your claim 24 hours day and 7 days a week.  Call us now at (312) 332-9800.


14. What if my question has not been answered here?

Please call Smoler Law Office at (800) 682-9330 right now for a free evaluation of your claim. There is no obligation but you will get started down the proper path to protecting your rights that is important to you and your family. There are many complex legal questions concerning a workers’ compensation claim that can only be properly addressed through a conference with an attorney. These issues cover the many other aspects of workers’ compensation claims including whether you may have a third party claim as a result of your injury and your entitlement to other benefits including group health insurance benefits, disability benefits, social security disability benefits and unemployment compensation as well what happens if you are unable to return to your previous employment due to your injury.


Over 25 Years of Dedicated Focus—Millions of Results

For a free initial consultation about your personal injury or workers’ compensation case, call Robert Smoler at (800) 682-9330 or contact Smoler Law Office online today.