All posts by bachlawpeoria

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

The first worker’s compensation laws in the U.S. were passed more than 100 years ago. The workers’ compensation system represents a compromise between workers and their employers. Under these laws workers are guaranteed benefits for work injuries, regardless of who was at fault. In exchange, employers are guaranteed that the amount of the recoveries will be limited, and there will be no jury trials.

Injured workers are guaranteed medical care, lost time benefits and settlements. But they give up the right to sue their employer and ask a jury to award damages.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IS COMPLICATED

It all sounds simple, but it isn’t. Hundreds of issues arise in workers’ compensation cases, and it requires experience and expertise to navigate the system to get the best possible results for medical care, lost time and settlements. There are many procedural issues as well, including filing the correct claims on time, methods of investigation and information gathering, consulting experts, taking depositions, taking cases to trial, going up on appeal, and dozens of other steps in the proper handling of a case.

Issues involving unemployment, social security disability, SSI, liens from health insurance companies, long and short-term disability, ERISA, ADA, FMLA, divorce divisions, bankruptcy, future medical care, and numerous other problems complicate the proper handling of a workers’ compensation case.

We Can Help, Regardless of the Type of Injury

Any type of injury or disease can occur in the workplace. The burden is on the injured employee to prove the diagnosis and that is was caused by work. Sometimes, that’s not so easy. It nearly always requires expert testimony and careful legal management. Increasingly, employers and their insurance companies get their doctors to say that an employee’s problem is not work related. It requireds legal expertise and good contacts in the medical community to overcome those positions.

We Handle All Cases on a Contingency Basis

You are not required to pay a retainer or advance any costs in the handling of your case. Our fee is a percentage of what we recover for you. We get paid when you do.

Comprehensive Workers’ Compensation Support of Injured Workers

Bach Law provides competent, comprehensive counsel to injured workers. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

workers compensation

REPRESENTING WORKING PEOPLE

We have been representing working people for more than 35 years for injuries on the job. The company you work for has professional people in the worker’s compensation field representing them, so should you. Once you are injured, you are on your own against the insurance company. Your employer has no control over how your case is handled; those decisions are made by strangers at the insurance adjuster’s office. Their decisions on whether to pay your bills, keep your benefits up to date, or allow you to continue to see your doctor are based on one thing: Money. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can see to it that you get treated fairly and your rights are protected, but only if you hire them.
We see people without attorneys at the Worker’s Compensation Commission every month to settle their cases “pro se”. These people are not being paid what they are entitled to, that’s why the company has agreed to settle. An effective attorney will pay for his fee (20%) and net the client more than the insurance company will ever pay. In fact, if you get an offer to settle, bring it in and we will show you how we can guarantee you will get more money by hiring us or we will represent you free of charge!

Many injured people want information about the following topics:
MEDICAL BILLS

You are entitled to choose your own doctor, not the company’s doctor. Your doctor will be paid by the insurance company. Many insurers delay payments to pressure you t end treatment. We see to it that your bills are paid promptly so you get all the care you need to get better and return to work.

TEMPORARY TOTAL BENEFITS
You have the right to receive a check for 2/3 of your gross wages on a regular and timely basis, usually weekly. The only way to be sure you get the correct benefits when you should get them is to hire a lawyer. We see many cases where benefits are under paid or cut off completely because the injured employee is unrepresented. This is a common tactic to force people back to work before they are done with treatment.

PERMANENT DISABILITY
This is the most complicated area of worker’s compensation law. What your case is worth depends on your wages, the part of the body injured, your medical records, the amount awarded previously in similar cases, your age, your job duties, and primarily, whether you choose to be represented by an attorney. There is simply no way an injured person can be sure they are receiving a fair settlement without the input of an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer. And why should they? Consultations are free with no obligation.

We can be reached at 309/673-0100

personal injury

Personal Injury Law

Personal injury involves injury to an individual. While there are many types of personal injury actions, some of the most common include: automobile accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites,product liability, and prescription drug malpractice. If you sustain injury as a result of someone else’s carelessness, you can recover for your injuries.
For many personal injury actions, different degrees of fault exist. Sometimes more than one person or party is at fault and financial and legal responsibility is apportioned among all of the wrongdoers. Other times, even the victim may be partly at fault, however, they may still have the right to recover damages from others. At trial, a jury will consider the injured person’s conduct as a percentage of the liability against the party being sued.For example, if you were driving your car a little over the speed limit when someone hit you, the jury might consider you 20% at fault and the other party 80% at fault.
If we are successful in proving that someone else is responsible for your injuries, we can recover a number of damages, including medical bills, lost wages, future medical bills and care, and other economic damages that you may have. We can also recover damages for pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of consortium. Generally, in Illinois you must file any such claim for these damages within two years. The exact timing of the statute can vary, and it is important to see an attorney to determine the applicable time limit for your case.
Here at Bach Law, we have over 40 years of combined experience helping individuals recover damages from those that have caused them harm. We are always happy to discuss your injury case with you, free of charge, with no payment due to us until we win your case.

 

10 Commandments for Injury Victims

REPRESENTING WORKING PEOPLE IN
CENTRAL ILLINOIS FOR MORE THAN 35 YEARS

BACH LAW TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR INJURY VICTIMS:

  1. Report your injury to your boss at work, to the police in an auto accident
  2. See a Doctor immediately. Your injury must be documented and diagnosed.
  3. Tell the Doctor about all your Complaints. Do not minimize your injury; it could hurt you later in a different way.
  4. Consult an Attorney now, not later. Bach Law, like most attorneys, offers Free, No obligation Consultation.
  5. Do not discuss your case by Phone.
  6. Follow up with treatment recommendations. See a specialist and/or start rehab.
  7. Keep a Diary of your complaints, missed work, and missed opportunities. This will be invaluable later.
  8. Be Patient and be sure you are completely healed before stopping treatment.
  9. Wait until you are back to work at least 90 days before you agree to any settlement offer. It takes time for you to know the long term effects of your injury.
  10. If you have not done so already, Hire an Attorney. No one comes out ahead by settling without an attorney. Why would they pay you want your case is worth if they didn’t have to?

5 reasons to have a will

A Will is a document that controls the disposition of a person’s property at death. Some of the reasons to have a will include:

1. Allows you to decide who will receive your property;
2. Allows you to designate a guardian if you have minor children;
3. Allows you to leave assets in trust for the benefit of your children;
4. Gives your loved ones direction in a difficult time;
5. Allows you to select who will be responsible for carrying out the instructions of the will

Powers of attorney are documents that allow you to designate someone to make financial or healthcare decisions for your benefit should you become incapacitated. There are two types of power of attorney, one for financial matters, and one for healthcare matters. The financial power of attorney lets your designated agent make decisions regarding your house, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and expenses. A healthcare power of attorney gives your agent clear instructions regarding end of life care, and allows your agent to make decisions regarding your health care.

 
Everyone, regardless of age and wealth, should have a will and powers of attorney in place to protect their assets and their loved ones if something should happen to them. If you are in need of a will and powers of attorney, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Power of Attorney Act

If you’ve ever talked to a financial planner or attorney who practices in the probate field, they most likely recommended that you have powers of attorney in place in the event that you would be incapacitated or unable to make decisions about your own affairs. A power of attorney grants the holder of the power, called the “agent”, authority to make decisions for an incapacitated person, called the “principal”. Having powers of attorney in place makes life easier on your family, medical care providers, and on you when you recover from whatever condition incapacitated you in the first place. There are three kinds of powers of attorney: financial, healthcare, and dual purpose.

The Illinois General Assembly recently passed an act that made sweeping changes to the Illinois Power of Attorney Act. The new Act took effect on July 1, 2011. The Act changes the statutory forms that are to be used in the making of healthcare, financial, and dual purpose powers of attorney. The stated goals of the legislature in changing the Illinois Power of Attorney Act were to make the statutory forms more user-friendly, yet more protective of the principal from financial or physical abuse.

The major changes are:

1. The agent’s standard of care is elevated, meaning the agent must exercise the power cautiously
2. There is more oversight of the agent’s actions
3. There are expanded remedies against an agent who abuses his/her fiduciary responsibilities
4. The new form provides notice to an agent under a POA for property, describing his/her responsibilities
5. The new form provides default provisions for co-agents in a nonstatutory POA for property
6. There are limitations on witnesses to the execution of a POA, to avoid conflicts of interest
7. The latest changes in response to HIPAA and the Disposition of Remains Act are incorporated into the POA for Healthcare

If you currently have a Power of Attorney that was implemented before July 1, 2011, you should review it and make arrangements to execute a new one soon, because the new act provides protections that were not previously available. If you do not have a Power of Attorney, now is an excellent time to contact Bach Law to find out more information.

Major changes to the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act

While there are many theories as to why, our legislature saw fit to make major changes to the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act. Most of the changes are clearly aimed to benefit employers who claim that worker’s compensation costs are too high. Whether these latest changes will reduce those costs depends, in part, on whether insurance companies reduce premiums. At any rate, the changes are with us, and we must deal with them effectively to protect your rights as employees. The major changes are as follows:

• American Medical Association Guidelines determine permanent partial disability: Arbitrators must use the AMA guidelines in arriving at a decision on the amount of physical impairment, or “loss of use” caused by a claimant’s work injury. Arbitrators are still free to consider other evidence, however.
• Worker’s choice of Doctor is more limited: Employees still have the right to choose two separate medical providers. However, businesses and their insurance companies can create their own panel of doctors which employees must use.
• Wage loss differential limited: Employees who are forced into a lower paying job by their injury are entitled to a wage loss differential only until age 67 or five years from the date of any final award, whichever is longer.
• Intoxication defense: An employee will not be entitled to compensation if intoxication is the proximate cause of the injury. An employee who refuses to submit to a drug or alcohol test after a work related accident will be presumed to have been intoxicated. Intoxication includes any substance, not just alcohol.
• Reduction of benefits for repetitive stress injuries: Benefits for carpal tunnel are based on a partial loss of the use of the hand. These benefits are now capped at 15% loss, over a shorter period of time. In very significant cases, the percentage of the loss can be up to 30%.

At the Bach Law office, we are always up to date on new developments in the law. Contact us for a free consultation if you’ve been injured at work, or if you want further information on these important changes in the law.