I was contacted recently by someone who suffered severe burns in an explosion at work. He had 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his arms and face after his work-related injury in the Chicago area.

Unlike most callers, he didn’t want a workers’ compensation attorney. He was upset because the doctors and nurses didn’t at first realize how severe his burns were and wanted to treat him with a cream. So he was actually wanting to know if I knew someone to sue them.

I explained that his much stronger case would be for work comp as it would compensate him for his time off of work, pay his bills and provide him with a decent settlement. He had no interest in doing that.

When I asked why, his response was, “I could never sue my employer.”

I hear that type of talk all of the time and it requires some educating. Illinois workers’ compensation claims aren’t lawsuits. They are claims for owed insurance benefits. In other words, if you don’t have a problem using company-provided health insurance, you shouldn’t have a problem bringing a work comp case.

While technically these cases involve your employer, we almost never deal with them directly or indirectly. All cases are handled between us and their insurance company or an attorney if the insurance company hires one. That typically happens when there are disputes in your case which would mean that your bills aren’t being paid, medical care isn’t being approved, you’re not getting compensated for time off work, etc.

If you don’t make a claim for these benefits that you are entitled to under law, you will almost certainly get screwed and risk your health for a lack of medical care. And of course, you will miss out on getting a settlement which depending on how severe your injury is could be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. And all settlements are tax-free.

If an employer is trying to make you feel bad or guilty about bringing a case, it just shows that they really don’t care about you. But would you let them make you feel bad if you got chemo when you have cancer or went to the ER after a fall at home? Of course not even if that means their corporate health insurance rates could go up.

Well, it’s the same for work comp. If they care about you, they’ll want to make sure that your health is taken care of and that you don’t get hurt financially.

If you have questions about how these cases work or want to discuss anything in confidence with no cost or commitment, you can call us any time at 312-346-5578. We cover all of Illinois and will treat you like a family member or friend.