Initial Claims for Truck Drivers
Truck drivers face tremendous wear and tear on their bodies in the course of doing their jobs. In addition, they're at risk of serious injuries in a collision. If you are a truck driver who was injured on the job, you may need to file a workers' compensation claim for benefits. The seasoned Chicago workers' compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can help you. We have more than six decades of experience fighting for compensation for workers and accident victims and seek best results for each of our clients. We handle workers' compensation, personal injury, and SSDI claims.Initial Claims for Truck Drivers
After getting injured or made sick on the job as a truck driver, you have 45 days to notify your employer of your injury or illness. There are instances in which trucking companies misclassify their truck drivers as independent contractors; you should be sure to provide notice of your injury or illness even if you have been classified as an independent contractor to make sure you preserve your right to seek benefits. Truck drivers who wait longer than 45 days to report work-related injuries or illnesses to their employers may forfeit their entitlement to benefits.
If we represent you, our Chicago attorneys will need to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC) within 3 years of the date you were injured or within 2 years of your last compensation payment, whichever is later.
Once you've provided notice, your employer should contact its insurer. You may start receiving temporary total disability benefits right away. You can receive these after you have been unable to work for at least 3 day, though you will not receive benefits for the first 3 days until you've been disabled for 14 days. However, some insurers do pay these benefits and continue to investigate. Your disability benefits may be abruptly terminated.Status Hearings
The IWCC will mail a notice of hearing after we file your application. It will specify the arbitrator that is assigned to your case. Routine status hearings will be set at regular intervals. If we represent you, we will appear at those hearings on your behalf. You would not need to attend the status call unless we are requesting trial on a disputed issue or otherwise ask an arbitrator to decide an issue in your case.
After three years, your case does need to be tried or dismissed, unless we can show good cause why it should stay open. For instance, if it appears that issues will arise with permanent total disability benefits three years after you were first injured, it would be appropriate to ask that the case stay open.Third Party Lawsuit
If you were injured in an accident caused by a third party, it may be appropriate to pursue a personal injury lawsuit alongside your workers' compensation claim. Even when an initial workers' compensation claim is successful, these benefits are limited. Our lawyers don't need to prove fault in the claim, but you won't be able to obtain noneconomic damages such as loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering or your full wage loss.
However, in a third party lawsuit you can recover compensatory damages, which are damages intended to make up for the full spectrum of your losses in an accident caused by someone else. Where an accident was caused by egregious misconduct, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages. Accordingly, it is important to choose a lawyer with experience and knowledge of both the workers' compensation system and trials in civil court.Consult a Seasoned Chicago Workers' Compensation Firm
If you need to file an initial claim as a truck driver who's been injured on the job, you should consult an experienced Chicago workers' compensation attorney. Our firm handles personal injury lawsuits, workers' compensation claims, and SSDI claims in Rockford, Champaign, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.