Oswego, IL asked in Employment Law, Workers' Compensation, Public Benefits and Small Claims for Illinois

Q: Can I file for TTD benefits while I work w/ a laywer to file workmans comp if my employer wouldn't report my injuries?

After an incident at work over the holidays I saw my DR & found out I have bilateral carpal tunnel w/severe damage in my right wrist. She advised me not to return to work until after seeing an orthopedic specialist for possible surgery. I told her that I couldn't afford to & she agreed to write a note w/restrictions for me to return but said she didn't want to because of my risk for permanent damage/disability. Both my manager & his boss got copies of my DR notes & work restrictions immediately. I was off 10 days & returned back to work for only 3 weeks until my condition had worsened and my DR had to write me another note w/time off while i had an issue w/my insurance. I asked my boss several times about workmans comp but he kept blowing me off. After being off over a month he called wanting me to return, promising to ask about workman comp, submitting my request for leave, & following my work restrictions, but he didn't & after calling a laywer I walked out 1/2 into my 1st shift back

3 Lawyer Answers
Steven Sigmond
Steven Sigmond
Answered
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Yes, you can.

As long as you've reported the work-injury to your boss right away (and you have), you have up to three years to file a workers compensation case. Your employer can't file the case for you. All they can do is turn the matter over to their insurance company or not.

Your next move is to hire an attorney experienced in Workers Comp who can get your case on file at the Commission. You can be sure they will turn it over to their insurance carrier once you've done that. You should be able to get TTD benefits, and you also should be able to get a settlement or award for your permanent partial disability.

Richard K. Johnson
Richard K. Johnson
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Hello. I am not clear on whether you have an attorney. If so, all such questions should be directed to the attorney representing you as that lawyer is in possession of all the relevant facts. You have an absolute right to secure an attorney. Workers' compensation benefits can be disputed by the insurance company or the employer. The burden of proof is on the injured worker to prove all elements of the claim. The Workers' Compensation Commission is the arbiter of any disputes that the attorney is unable to negotiate. Good luck with your claim.

Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
Answered
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: If you hired an attorney, that is the FIRST thing he should have done after filing your paperwork. If your employer never reported the claim, it will probably be classified as "disputed" which means that it may not receive any benefits until after a hearing. Given that hearings were suspended about two weeks ago, no one can say when you may receive a hearing. More importantly, if your doctor has made a recommendation for surgery, you cannot proceed to hearing without requesting that the commission order insurance company to pay for your surgery.

If your doctor's records do not clearly reflect that you must undergo surgery as a result of the injuries sustained at work, then your hearing cannot go forward until after your attorney is able to take your doctor's deposition. if that is necessary, the insurance company attorneys will want to have you seen by their doctor and then, their doctor will need to be deposed before the hearing. In the best of times, you would be looking at at least 4 to 6 months before you could get a Decision from the Commission. Given the constraints of the current pandemic, you are probably looking at 8 to 9 months, at the very least.

If you have a Hearing on the issue of TTD only, AFTER the doctor orders surgery, you will FOREVER give up the ability to ask for surgery because you "could have" asked for it at the Hearing on TTD.

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