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Chicago Area Workers' Compensation Lawyers

Attorneys in Cook County for Employees Injured on the Job

When you are injured in the course of performing your job, your entire life could be affected. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might be facing months or even years of ongoing medical care, constant pain, and the struggle of not being able to provide for your family. In the state of Illinois, employees who get hurt at work are usually eligible to collect benefits through the state's workers' compensation program—a system that is intended to ease the financial burden on injured workers and their loved ones. Unfortunately, it is not always as easy or straightforward as it should be to get the benefits you need after a work-related injury or illness.

At Kaiser Hafezi Law, our skilled workers' compensation lawyers have been serving the best interests of injured workers in Cook County and the entire Chicago metro area for more than 30 years. We understand the difficulties that you may be facing in recovering workers' comp benefits, and we are equipped to help simplify the process for you. Our attorneys understand the games that employers and workers' comp insurance carriers often play, and we know how to overcome them to get results. We combine large-firm experience with the personal attention that you should expect from a small firm to create an approach that afforded us a great deal of success in hundreds of workers' compensation cases. Let us put our experience and knowledge to work for you.

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The Workers' Compensation Process

In order to collect benefits under the Illinois workers' compensation program, you will need to file a formal claim. Before you file your claim, however, there are some steps that you should take first, and the attorneys at Kaiser Hafezi Law are prepared to help you. The first thing you need to do in the wake of a workplace injury or occupational illness is to seek medical attention for your condition. Depending on the circumstances, you may choose to be seen at a doctor's office, emergency room, or urgent care clinic, and it is important to keep a copy of any records of the visit. You must also notify your employer about your injury so that your rights to file a formal workers' comp claim are protected. After notifying your employer, you can file your claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.

Failure to follow the proper steps could jeopardize your benefits. Our lawyers are equipped to help you at each stage of the process, including:

  • Seeking medical attention for your condition
  • Notifying your employer about your injury or illness
  • Filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits
  • Addressing or appealing denials or requests for more information
  • Protecting your interests in appeals hearings and at trial

Workplace Third Party Injury Accidents

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Program is a no-fault system that offers benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses regardless of how they happened. The system was set up to help injured workers get what they need without needing to sue their employers or prove negligence on the part of the company. In fact, an injured employee is prohibited from suing his or her employer for damages, with very limited exceptions for extreme situations. However, there may be cases in which someone other than your employer is responsible for your injuries. For example, if another driver caused a car accident while you were driving for your job, the at-fault driver may be held liable through a third-party personal injury lawsuit. The attorneys of Kaiser Hafezi Law will help you explore all of your options for collecting compensation, including filing a third-party injury claim in addition to your claim for workers' comp benefits.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Some workplace injuries are caused by a singular event, such as a fall or equipment malfunction. Others, however, develop gradually over time due to repetitive motions or strain on a particular body part. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common repetitive motion injuries, and it is an injury that affects the hand, wrist, and lower arm. Factory employees who perform manual tasks and office workers who spend most of their day in front of a computer are especially at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The lawyers at Kaiser Hafezi Law realize that it can be challenging to prove that carpal tunnel syndrome is work-related, but we know that it is possible to do so. If you are suffering from hand or wrist pain caused by your work duties, we will work to get you full benefits under the law.

Head Injuries

Head and brain injuries are among the most serious injuries a person could suffer, as they can cause long-lasting problems or even permanent impairments. Some such injuries are immediately obvious, while others do not become evident for some time after an accident. For example, you could hit your head and suffer a concussion—a type of traumatic brain injury—and not even realize it until several hours or even days later. If you suffered any type of head or brain injury on the job, the attorneys at Kaiser Hafezi Law are prepared to assist you in recovering the appropriate benefits. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be eligible for vocational retraining or disability benefits in addition to benefits for medical care and lost wages.

Truck, Package, and Delivery Drivers

Hundreds, if not thousands, of traffic accidents occur every day throughout the state of Illinois. This means that those who drive for a living are at an increased risk of being injured on the job compared to the average person. Truck drivers, delivery van drivers, and food delivery drivers are generally eligible for workers' comp benefits when they are hurt in a crash, even if they were found to be at fault for the accident. Professional drivers can also be injured while moving cargo, lifting packages, or walking to a customer's door. At Kaiser Hafezi Law, we work on behalf of injured truck and delivery drivers to ensure their best interests are fully protected. If you drive for a living and you suffered any type of on-the-job injury, we will help you explore all of your options for seeking benefits, including the possibility of a third-party personal injury lawsuit.

Occupational Diseases

Many people think of workers' compensation as a program intended to help employees who get hurt at work. While workers' comp does provide benefits for injured workers, it covers work-related illnesses, diseases, and other health conditions as well. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a person's job to contribute to the development of both acute and chronic illnesses, including respiratory diseases, heart conditions, infectious diseases, brain disorders, and various types of cancer. Illnesses such as these may be linked with exposure to hazardous materials, job-related stresses, and many other work-related factors. If you have contracted any type of occupational disease or illness, the team at Kaiser Hafezi Law can help you seek workers' comp benefits. We will work to prove that your condition was caused by doing your job so that you can get the benefits you deserve.

Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions

It is not uncommon for employees to suffer an accident at work that aggravates or exacerbates a prior injury or pre-existing condition. For example, if you had knee surgery many years ago, you may be more susceptible to knee injuries now, and a slippery surface at work could cause you to slip and re-injure the same knee. In such a case, workers' compensation should cover the aggravation of your knee injury, but you may face difficulties in getting the benefits you deserve. The lawyers at Kaiser Hafezi Law have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you overcome any challenges presented by your employer or the insurance company. We know how to get results, and we will work hard to ensure that your rights and best interests are fully protected.

Reduction of Earning Capacity Injuries

The vast majority of workplace injuries are relatively manageable. The injured worker might miss a day or two—or even several weeks—but he or she will typically make a full physical recovery and return to work eventually. Some injuries, however, are so severe that the employee's ability to earn a living is forever compromised. If you have suffered a work injury that diminished your earning capacity, the Illinois workers' compensation program provides benefits that could help you and your family deal with your new reality. At Kaiser Hafezi Law, we know that securing benefits for decreased earning capacity is often difficult, as doing so requires a complex analysis of your situation, including your career path prior to the injury. You can depend on us to remain at your side throughout the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Am I eligible to receive
workers' compensation benefits?

A. According to Illinois law, if you are an employee who was injured or became ill in the course of performing your job, you are generally eligible to collect benefits under the Illinois workers' compensation system. Non-employee workers and independent contractors are usually not eligible for work comp benefits. It is important to keep in mind that your injury or health condition must be work-related in order to qualify for benefits. Our lawyers will work with you to determine your eligibility.

Q. What does workers'
compensation cover?

A. The benefits for which you are eligible will depend on the nature of your injuries and how they are affecting your life. In general, however, workers' compensation benefits are intended to cover the expenses related to emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, therapy, doctors' visits, prosthetics, orthotics, durable medical equipment, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription medications. If you missed work due to your injuries, you could also receive benefits for lost wages or decreased earning capacity. Temporary and permanent disability benefits may also be available, as well as reimbursement for the costs of vocational retraining if such training is needed.

Q. How much time do I have to
file a workers' compensation claim?

A. Before filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits, you must notify your employer about your injuries. Generally, this must be done within 45 days of the incident. If your condition is a work-related illness or disease, you should notify your employer as is practical upon receiving your diagnosis. Once you have notified your employer, you generally have three years from the date of your injury to file your formal claim for benefits.

Q. What do I need to prove to
be eligible for workers’ compensation

A. If you have been injured at work and are looking to collect benefits under the Illinois workers’ compensation system, you will need to show that your injuries were sustained in the course of performing your job duties. The state’s workers’ comp program is a no-fault system, so you do not need to prove that your employer or anyone else was negligent or at fault for your injuries. If someone other than your employer caused your on-the-job injuries, however, you might also be able to pursue additional damages through a separate third-party lawsuit.

Client Testimonials

  • My wife Linda and I are clients of Kaiser Law firm. Recently Linda was involved in a car accident where she was rear ended and sustained injuries that resulted in extended time away from her job. Dan was instrumental in obtaining a reasonable and fair settlement for loss of income and medical expenses. Dan was professional and kept us advised along the way. Their staff was a joy to work with. We feel very grateful to be their clients.

    - William Johnson

  • Hi Mariam, this is Shirley Haas. I’m calling to thank you for the extraordinary efforts you put forth on my behalf after my personal injury accident. Your personal interest in me went above and beyond and I truly appreciate it. Also, I am extremely pleased with the settlement you got for me. Again, thank you very much.

    - Shirley Haas

  • My family and I used Dan Kaiser to help us with a case last year. We had never been involved in any kind of legal matter and he was very kind, informative and thoughtful throughout the whole process. In the end we got what we felt was a very fair settlement. We would definitely use Mr. Kaiser and his firm if we ever have the need arise again.

    - Terri

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