How much is my Illinois workers’ compensation case worth?

Anthony Ivone

Answered by:
Anthony Ivone

Located in Berwyn, IL
Costa Ivone, LLC

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When a worker is hurt on the job and unable to work, he or she is entitled to payment to cover all medical bills fully as well as temporary total disability (TTD), which is equal to two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage. 

Workers who are permanently injured yet able to return to work qualify for a lump-sum payment known as permanent partial disability (PPD). This lump-sum payment is typically what is being referred to when one asks, “How much is my workers’ compensation case is worth?” The amount of PPD an employee recovers is based on the permanent effects of the injuries. 

An injured worker must reach a state of permanency in order to determine what amount of workers’ compensation they will receive. 

Understanding Permanency 

Permanency means that a doctor has determined you have plateaued in terms of recovery. You may receive additional treatment, but you have reached what is known as maximum medical improvement (MMI). In some instances, a person who has reached MMI can do everything they did before; in other instances, they may not have the same physical or mental ability they had before the injury. 

State lawmakers control the amount of PPD awarded in workers’ comp cases, primarily by assigning a value (in terms of weeks) for each body part injured. Using the employee’s average weekly wage, an employee’s PPD rate is calculated by measuring the percentage loss of a body part, multiplying that percentage by the total number of weeks the body part is worth, and multiplying that by your PPD rate, which currently is 60 percent of your average weekly wage. 

If It’s Based on a Formula, Do I Need a Lawyer? 

While it’s true that the PPD rate and the body part valuation are set by law, there remain variables that affect the value of your case, particularly in cases involving serious injuries, cases when workers are unable to return to their prior job, or those times when a worker cannot return to work at all. 

Without a lawyer advocating for you, you are at the mercy of your employer’s insurance company to set your level of permanency. They will do all they can to minimize the amount that is paid out. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer understands how to gather all of the necessary evidence and present it in a manner that will maximize your benefit. 

If a fair agreement cannot be reached through negotiation, a lawyer will help you prepare you for a workers’ compensation hearing in front of an arbitrator and represent you at that hearing.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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