If you work in the transportation industry or in a warehouse and are hurt while working, you might be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. There are particular dangers for transportation employees, including heavy equipment, heights, dangerous tools, outdoor hazards, and large vehicles. It can be tricky to obtain workers' compensation benefits, especially if you are new to the system. The experienced Chicago workers' compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca understand how to navigate the process, and can help you understand and assert your rights.Transportation Employees
The transportation industry includes workers such as truck drivers, bus drivers, forklift operators, pilots, railroad workers, ship workers, taxi drivers, delivery drivers, package handlers, chauffeurs, train operators, and shipping and receiving clerks. The industry often puts workers in a variety of dangerous situations. When a truck rolls over on the freeway for example, the result may be dire for both the truck driver and those around him. Similarly, if a pedestrian is on a set of train tracks and a train tries to come to a sudden stop, it can hurt workers on the train. Transportation accidents are a leading contributor to work fatalities.
Often transportation injuries involve musculoskeletal injuries that arise out of overexertion, falls from high working surfaces such as loading docks, slip and falls, being hit by a forklift or truck at a worksite, and other vehicle related injuries like whiplash or soft tissue injuries. Sometimes they are even more serious and involve paralysis or traumatic brain injury.Workers’ Compensation in Illinois
If you are injured as a transportation worker, you may be able to obtain workers' compensation benefits, and a skilled work injury lawyer can assist you. Illinois workers' compensation is a system of benefits that covers the medical costs of job-related injuries and illnesses. It's a system intended to benefit most Illinois employees, but in exchange for being able to utilize this system that is intended to provide benefits without the need to establish fault, employees lose the ability to sue their employers for damages in most cases. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission is the governmental entity that serves to administrate disputes between employers and employees about claims.
Your workers' compensation coverage begins when your job starts. Workers' compensation coverage includes medical benefits. That means you can see doctors, obtain equipment, get therapy, and buy medications that are covered by a workers' compensation insurer. Additionally, you can get permanent partial or total disability benefits, temporary partial or total disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. Your survivors may be able to get death benefits if you pass away. Workers' compensation benefits can cover funeral costs of up to $8,000.Choosing a Physician
You are only allowed to choose a health care provider two times, not counting your emergency care, after getting injured. However, if you get a referral from a doctor you chose, the doctor to whom you were referred counts as part of one choice. For example, if you see an oncologist for certain symptoms, and the oncologist refers you to someone who specializes in a particularly rare form of cancer for treatment, this would be a single choice.
Your workers' compensation insurer cannot choose your treating physician for you, though it can order you to have an independent medical examination, also known as an IME. However, employers sometimes do have a preferred provider network of health care providers. If your employer has a preferred provider network, you will be required you to choose a provider that's in-network. If you choose to deviate from that network, you will have only one choice in health care providers instead of two.Workers' Compensation Attorneys Helping Employees in Chicago
Transportation employees regularly face the possibility of very serious and even life-threatening injuries. If you are a transportation worker who has been hurt on the job in Chicago, a knowledgeable injury lawyer may be able to help. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca, we represent accident victims in communities such as Champaign, Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Springfield, as well as Cook, Sangamon, Adams, Champaign, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. Please call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 for a free consultation.