Granite City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

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The workers’ compensation system exists to provide financial support for injured employees in every industry, without the need to prove employer fault. Despite the promises of replacement income and paid medical expenses, winning compensation can prove considerably difficult. There are deadlines and procedural requirements the injured worker must follow or risk losing the benefits to which he or she is entitled. If you’ve been hurt on the job, you need exceptional legal counsel who understands your rights and gets to work advocating for them. Find out why so many injured workers turn to Albers Injury Law, LLC.

All Types of Work Injury Cases

Our Granite City workers’ compensation attorney represents blue- and white-collar workers in every industry. We seek the compensation workers need to pay their bills and get the medical attention they deserve, handling all types of job-related injury cases, such as:

  • Back injuries (e.g. herniated disks and sprains) caused by lifting heavy objects
  • Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries resulting from falls
  • Hearing damage and hearing loss
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Illnesses caused by toxic exposure to asbestos, benzene, mercury, and other substances
  • Injuries caused by defective machinery and power tools
  • Torn rotator cuffs

Workers’ Compensation Filing in Granite City, IL

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, you need to take immediate steps to protect your rights by filing for workers’ compensation. There is a proper procedure every worker is required to follow or they could jeopardize their claim. We recommend the following:

Seek medical attention: The employer has to pay for an injured employee’s necessary medical treatments. You have the right to select two physicians, surgeons, or hospitals. If
the employer notifies you that it has an approved Preferred Provider Program (PPP) for workers’ compensation, then the PPP counts as one of the two providers.

Notify your employer: You should do this as soon as you notice the work-related injury or illness. Workers in Illinois should provide notice within 45 days of the accident or within 90 days of radiation exposure. If possible, inform your employer in writing.

Know your rights: After you inform your employer of the incident, they in turn must notify their workers’ compensation insurance company or administrator. The insurer or administrator will review your claim and determine your eligibility for benefits.

Understand the insurer’s decision: If the insurer or administrator approves the claim, your employer should begin making workers’ compensation payments soon thereafter. If the claim is denied, the insurer or administrator is required to provide a written explanation.

File for a hearing: If your claim is denied, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Granite City can help you file for a hearing with the workers’ compensation commission, who will decide your case.

Who May Be Liable for My Work Injury?

Your employer is generally immune from having to pay more than the amount required by the workers’ compensation laws and its insurance policy. Workers’ compensation replaced the fault-based system by providing statutory relief for injured workers. But you can still file a lawsuit against negligent third parties who played a role in causing your accident or illness. Those parties may include:

  • Property owners
  • General contractors
  • Product and equipment manufacturers
  • Architects

Our firm will investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine if these other parties can be held liable.

Which Industries See the Most Work Injuries?

Illinois employees are protected by the workers’ compensation system, regardless of which line of work they are in. Some industries do tend to have more work injuries and workers’ compensation claims than others. They include:

  • Construction
  • Landscaping
  • Manufacturing
  • Steel
  • Electrical utilities
  • Health care
  • Trucking
  • Law enforcement and emergency services
  • Fishing
  • Logging
  • Oil and gas
  • Waste disposal services

What Are Industries With Special Worker Protection Laws?

Certain industries, including the maritime and railroad industries, have their own worker protection laws. If you work in either of these fields, you need to understand the Jones Act and the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).

The Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal law that regulates maritime commerce, providing liability coverage to seamen who have been injured while working on a ship or other vessel. More specifically, it covers anyone who was:

Injured while traveling on navigable waters in or around the country
A crew member or officer of the vessel (i.e. seaman) who performed essential functions

Unlike workers’ compensation, anyone filing under the Jones Act has to prove employer negligence to win monetary damages. However, proving negligence under the Act is easier compared to general personal injury law. A worker can also obtain pain and suffering damages, which are not usually available under workers’ compensation.

A plaintiff can file a Jones Act claim in either state or federal court in Illinois.


The Federal Employers’ Liability Act protects railroad workers injured on the job. Similar to the Jones Act, the injured worker must prove employer negligence when pursuing a FELA claim. This is evidenced by the employer’s failure to take the necessary precautions to keep rail workers safe. Examples of negligence include:

  • Inadequate training or supervision
  • Poor maintenance of the railroad track
  • Lack of safety protocols
  • Use of defective machinery or tools

If you are eligible to file a claim under either the Jones Act or FELA, you should seek medical attention, report your injury to your employer, and document as much of the accident and your injuries as possible. Then, reach out to a Granite City workers’ compensation lawyer.

Damages You Can Pursue Under FELA

FELA damages are different from workers’ compensation coverage, which usually only pays the worker for lost wages and medical bills. Under FELA, an injured employee can seek the following:

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgery, and ongoing care and treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Decreased future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Certain wrongful death damages for eligible survivors, including funeral expenses and loss of consortium

What Is the Illinois Workers’ Compensation System?

Workers’ compensation is designed to pay for an injured employee in two major ways: replacement income (for wages not earned during recovery) and medical expenses (for the medically necessary costs of seeing a doctor). It covers situations in which someone is either injured or sickened due, in whole or in part, to work. This can include aggravation of a pre-existing medical condition or injury.

If an employee is required to take time away from work to recover from the injury or illness, he or she may be entitled to receive weekly payments and necessary medical care. This coverage continues until the worker is able to return to job duties that are reasonably available. It is illegal for the employer to harass, discharge, refuse to rehire or discriminate against an employee for exercising his or her workers’ compensation rights.

The “No-fault” Workers’ Compensation System

Many employees think of their employer as being liable for negligently causing their work-related injury, but this is not correct. Workers’ compensation is a system established by statute that replaced common law negligence. In other words, instead of the injured worker having to prove an irresponsible act or omission on the part of the employer, the worker is entitled to compensation regardless of negligence. Benefits are, therefore, not based on fault.

Injured at Work? Our Granite City Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

If you’ve been hurt at work, it’s time to file for the income and medical benefits you deserve. Time is of the essence. Don’t make a mistake that could cause the workers’ compensation insurer to deny your claim. We can help you file and assist you if your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company is refusing to honor your rights as an injured worker. Our firm also represents injured workers who are eligible to file claims under the Jones Act or FELA.

That’s the level of comprehensive service that injured workers can expect from Albers Injury Law, LLC. Call our office today to learn more.

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