Initial Claims for Injured City of Chicago Workers
The City of Chicago, like many big businesses, is self-insured for workers’ compensation. Self-insured employers need to apply every year to continue their self-insurance privilege. Like other self-insured employers, the City is required to promptly pay benefits that are owed to injured employees and their dependents. It needs to meet all assessment obligations and report injuries, diseases, and deaths to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission as required by law, and let the Commission know if it has experienced any change in its financial condition that could impact its capacity to self-insure. If you are concerned about filing an initial claim as an injured City of Chicago worker, we are here to answer your questions. The dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca are available to assist you with every stage of your claim for benefits.Initial Claims for Injured City of Chicago Workers
If you’re injured on the job with the City of Chicago, the City is required to pay for your reasonable medical care, a portion of your lost wages, job retraining if you can’t come back to your prior position, and compensation for a permanent disability. The process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can be complex and challenging, even though the City is self-insured.
You should obtain medical care right away if you’ve been seriously injured on the job. You’re entitled to go directly to an emergency room, hospital, or clinic if you need diagnosis and treatment. Your workers’ compensation benefits should include coverage for medical treatment that’s reasonable and causally related to your work injury until you reach maximum medical improvement. Your employer, however, is entitled to send you to be examined by a non-treating doctor to obtain a second opinion about your injuries and about what necessary treatment would be. Although it’s called an independent medical exam (IME), you shouldn’t be fooled by the name. Often the doctor hired to perform the IME is conservative in outlook and biased against more substantial, and therefore more expensive, treatments. If your treating physician and the doctor who examines you on behalf of the City disagree, your attorney can help you ask for a hearing to resolve the dispute.Notice
You should also report your injury in writing to your manager or supervisor at the City of Chicago within 45 days of being injured. If you don’t provide appropriate, timely notice, you risk losing your chance to obtain benefits. If you were injured in an acute accident, you might assume that the City already knows of the injuries. You should still provide notice in writing so that there’s no question down the road as to when notification was provided, and no argument to be made that the City was ignorant of your particular injuries. Proving notice sooner rather than later can also help to negate any argument the City might be able to make that your injuries are not work-related.
Once your employer has notice of your work-related injury, it is supposed to file an accident report with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. It has 30 days to do this. Filing the report doesn’t cause the Commission to take action; it just lets them know that an accident occurred in a City workplace.Application for Adjustment of Claim
It is wise to fill out an Application for Adjustment of Claim even if you start to receive benefits right away. For a variety of reasons, sometimes employers stop paying or reduce benefits. Filing the Application for Adjustment of Claim can allow you to ask for an expedited hearing in case you stop receiving a benefit you need.Consult an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you have questions about initial claims for injured City of Chicago workers, you can consult legal counsel. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca, our compassionate lawyers can represent workers injured in Quincy, Champaign, Rockford, and Aurora, as well as throughout Kane, Adams, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Cook Counties. We can also evaluate your circumstances to determine whether relief is available to you outside of workers’ compensation. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or contact us via our online form.