Sometimes after an on-the-job injury, the injured driver finds himself out of a job … and in a scary place indeed.
Losing a job is never a good thing, and is doubly scary when you have been hurt, but there are some things working in your favor.
First, it is illegal to fire an employee for asserting his rights under the Worker’s Compensation Act. If there is some reason to believe that you were fired for making a worker’s compensation claim, you should get a lawyer immediately.
I am not naïve and would never tell you that this just doesn’t happen, but most often employers are advised to be very careful about how they handle people who are off on worker’s comp because there is mot much that an employer can’t do their employees in Illinois, but firing them for making a comp claim is on that list.
Let’s assume for a minute that it was a legitimate firing for whatever reason … what does that do to you regarding your worker’s compensation case?
Your rights to get worker’s compensation benefits comes from the fact that you were hurt while working, not from your ongoing employment. This means that you are allowed to continue to get your weekly disability payments while you are off work, your employer is obligated to continue to pay for your medical expenses, and you can get a settlement at the end of your case.
However, once you are cleared to go back to work on unrestricted duty and are considered at maximum medical improvement, there is no longer any responsibility to provide you with ongoing benefits, such as your disability checks and payment of your medical expenses.
Which brings me to my next point …. because you are already on the “outs” with your employer (they have fired you, after all) and the exposure to ongoing benefits is cut off once you are cleared to go back to work, you can expect that they will be more aggressive than usual about forcing you back to work before you really ready … and you still don’t have a job to go back to.
If you are in this situation, it is a good idea to get help from a lawyer right away because at some point, the insurance company will likely try to cut off your benefits … and you won’t have another source of income and that can bring the wolf to the door very quickly indeed.
If you have a current worker’s compensation issue which you need help on, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling our office at 312-263-1080 discuss your issues and what options you have. There is no obligation to hire our law firm, and there is no charge for the call.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who can benefit from this kind of information, please feel free to share this information.
We are here to help truck drivers after an on-the-job accident. Knowledge is power, and the first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are.