COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

Workers' Compensation Hearings for Road Construction Workers

Chicago Workers' Compensation Attorneys for Road Construction Workers

Road construction workers face substantial dangers while on the road working. They are at risk of broken bones, amputations, paralysis, contusions, bruises, brain injuries, back injuries and chronic or repetitive stress injuries. Among the dangers they encounter are motor vehicles and dangerous tools. If you are a road construction worker who was injured on the job and needs to request a workers' compensation hearing, you should call the seasoned Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We have more than 60 years of experience representing accident victims.

Workers' Compensation Hearings for Road Construction Workers

Once our Chicago attorneys file an Application for Adjustment of Claim for an injured road construction worker, his claim will be assigned to an arbitrator. That arbitrator holds a status hearing on the claim every 60 days whether or not benefits are being paid. When we represent a client who has a status hearing, we appear on behalf of the client, and he does not have to appear. These are routine matters.

However, we can request a hearing to resolve a disputed issue in the event that some or all benefits to which you are entitled are not paid. We may be able to negotiate for benefits on your behalf and settle the claim prior to the hearing. If our lawyers cannot settle the claim, however, the matter will go before an arbitrator at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC). At that hearing, both sides present evidence. For example, if your employer and insurer do not believe you're permanently and totally disabled we'll need to put forward evidence that supports your claim. The employer and its insurer will also need to present evidence to establish their position about your claim.

In the lead-up to the hearing, the insurer and its lawyers will be gathering information that can be used to deny your claim. This may involve asking you to attend an IME with a doctor known to favor companies rather than their employees or conducting investigation and surveillance, whether on social media or in person.

19(b) Hearings

In case an insurer denies you some or all of the benefits to which you're entitled, it can be helpful to put an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC). You have either three years from the date you were injured or two years from the date you were last paid compensation to file a claim with the IWCC.

We may recommend putting this on file even if you are already getting some benefits, especially if there is a chance that the insurer will abruptly stop paying these benefits or has denied particular benefits while paying others.

Once an Application is on file, our lawyers will be able to ask for an expedited hearing under 19(b).

Third-party Lawsuit

If you were injured in an accident involving a third party, not your employer, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit rather than rely solely on the outcomes of a worker's compensation hearing for compensation. For example, if you were paving the road and a drunk driver ignored the orange hazard cones and struck you, you may be able to sue that driver for damages.

In many cases, these lawsuits must be pursued under a theory of negligence. We will need to show it's more likely than not: (1) you were owed a duty of reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty of reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. A driver could breach the duty to use reasonable care by speeding, texting while driving, weaving, failing to obey traffic signs and signals, failing to yield, drunk driving, or distracted driving.

While the workers' compensation hearing is distinct from third party civil litigation, information gathered in the course of either proceeding might be used as evidence in the other. You should seek knowledgeable counsel.

Consult a Seasoned Chicago Workers' Compensation Firm

If you need to obtain benefits you should give our seasoned Chicago workers' compensation lawyers a call. We have more than 60 years of experience representing clients in 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.