Workers Compensation FAQ
Zimmerle Law currently only handles workers comp cases in Illinois
Why do I need a lawyer?
In some cases, you don't! If you contact us and we believe you don't need us, we'll let you know. We may even jump on board in the background just to be there when/if you need us.
The main reasons people need workers comp lawyers are (1) when their case isn't covered, (2) when medical care is denied, (3) when you aren't paid when you have to be off of work, and/or (4) to maximize the settlement at the end of the case (that your employer may or may not have offered)
Do I get paid while I'm off work?
If you're off work with an Illinois workers comp case, you are supposed to be paid Temporary Total Disability or TTD at the rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage.
As simple as that sounds, it can be complicated. We've seen compensation denied for various reasons, including dumb reasons. We've seen it cut off for bad reasons. We've seen it calculated wrong.
When you are hurt and off work, this is a crucial time, and you should make sure you have a lawyer on your side.
Who pays my medical bills?
Your employer is supposed to pay reasonable, necessary and related medical care, including supplies. There are some limits here, so if you have questions about a particular situation, please call us.
What's my case worth?
Oh wow, don't rely on a website for that. Each case is different. Don't compare your case to your friend's/neighbor's/coworker's/dog groomer's/mailman's friend's dentist's cousin's case. Anyone who gives you a number without knowing the case well is full of it. However, the main factors are (1) how much money you make, (2) the body part(s) injured, (3) the nature of the injury, and (4) how the injury affects your ability to work.
OK, so you really want to know more, eh? We have broken down many of the more common workers compensation cases by body part and discuss some of the factors that go into compensation here.
This includes the basics behind how case value is determined and gets into some unusual cases such as wage differential, permanent total disability, disfigurement and others. Of course, we can't tell you right now what YOUR case is worth, but if you give us a call, we can discuss things in more detail.
My employer wants me to see "their" doctor. Is that ok?
First, your employer or their insurance company may have preferred providers. If they send you to a specific provider (Unity Point, Genesis and Concentra are all very common in the Quad City area), that's ok.
Later on in your case, the employer or insurance company may send you for an "Independent" medical evaluation. There are some fantastic, honest doctors who do that work. There are also some doctors who make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from insurance companies and will nearly always find that (1) your injury isn't work-related, (2) you weren't hurt at all, (3) you were hurt at work, but you're actually better now (or that you aren't better but that wasn't because of the work injury), or other nonsense like that. If you run into that, call us.
What is an impairment rating in Illinois workers compensation?
Back in 2011, Illinois law changed to require workers comp arbitrators (the people who make the decisions - like judges but not exactly) to consider AMA impairment ratings in their awards. What are AMA impairment ratings? Some pseudo-scientific ratings based on guides by the American Medical Association.
If you don't have an impairment rating, you can still win or settle your case. If you do have an impairment rating, your case may be worth far more than the rating itself, as Illinois workers compensation compensates disability, not impairment. Attorney Howard Zimmerle has spoken about this and is willing to discuss this with anyone who needs an Illinois workers comp lawyer, especially in the Quad City area.