Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do we provide second opinions?
  2. Absolutely. If you are unhappy with your current representation, Krol, Bongiorno & Given, LTD may be able to take over the handling of your claim for no additional costs.

  3. How are we paid?
  4. Our fees are based on a contingency arrangement and are set by Illinois law. We are not paid unless you recover. You will pay $0 in up-front costs in pursuing your claim.

  5. Why hire an attorney?
  6. For Illinois Workers’ Compensation claims, you will ALWAYS cheat yourself if you do not hire an experienced attorney. When you hire Krol, Bongiorno & Given, LTD, you will have someone to guide you through the process and when it is time to settle, we will add value to your case IN EXCESS of our fee. In the last few years, employers and insurance carriers have sought to advance the argument that when you settle a case without an attorney, your already low settlement should be further reduced by 20% so that you do not get a “windfall.” Representing yourself in Illinois is a lose-lose proposition. When you are represented, you have fewer headaches AND you get more money. It really is a no-brainer.

  7. Are workers’ compensation benefits taxable income?
  8. No. Any monies you receive in temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability or permanent total disability benefits are tax-free.

  9. Do I have the right to file a law suit against anyone else?
  10. It is very possible. If a third party caused your accident, you may be allowed to file a third party claim against the individual or company that caused the accident. That means you could earn “double recovery” because you would have both a workers’ compensation claim and a third party personal injury claim. We will have a better understanding once we hear the specific facts of your case.

  11. Is there a time limit for reporting a work accident?
  12. Yes. You should immediately report any accident to your supervisor. Notice to a co-worker is not notice to your employer. If possible, report the accident in writing, have the supervisor sign the report, and save a copy of the report. Verbal notice is sufficient, but presenting a written notice that is signed by the supervisor should resolve any disputes at a later date. Under Illinois law, you are required to report your accident within 45 days.

    Even if you do not believe your accident will lead to significant medical treatment, report the accident. It is better to be safe than sorry.

  13. Do I need to receive medical treatment on the date of the accident?
  14. No. However, your claim is strengthened if you have medical treatment on the date of the accident that provides an accurate history of how the accident happened and the injuries suffered. Make sure to list any and all body parts that were injured in the accident and give a descriptive history of the accident to all medical providers.

  15. When must I file a claim?
  16. Generally, a workers’ compensation claim must be filed within 3 years from the date of the accident. However, there are limited circumstances that could “toll the statute” and allow you to file a claim beyond the 3 year requirement. Failure to file a claim within the appropriate time period may result in you losing your rights to any benefits.

  17. Can I be fired for filing a claim?
  18. No. Illinois law prohibits employers from firing employees who bring workers’ compensation claims.

  19. What are temporary partial disability benefits?
  20. You are entitled to temporary partial disability benefits (“TPD”) when your employer is able to accommodate your light duty work restrictions and your employer is paying you at a lesser rate than what you would be earning in the performance of your full job duties. This benefit rate varies based on your date of accident and is almost ALWAYS calculated incorrectly by the insurance company. Make sure you keep copies of all checks received from the employer and the insurance company while you are working light duty. We will need these checks to calculate the underpayment.

  21. How are permanent partial disability benefits calculated?
  22. You may be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits (“PPD”) when your accident causes some permanent disability. A number of factors are used in determining how much PPD your case warrants, including but not limited to, your age, occupation, and earning capacity. One of the most important factors is your medical condition on the date of release as substantiated by the treating medical records. It is imperative that you provide your treating doctor and any insurance company doctor with any continued pain complaints at maximum medical improvement release.

  23. Am I allowed my own choice of physician?
  24. Yes. You may select a doctor, at the insurance company’s expense, even if the doctor is outside your regular insurance plan or network. The insurance company cannot refuse to pay for medical treatment simply because they did not select or approve the medical treatment in advance. However, you do not get unlimited choices. You need to make sure your doctor provides a referral for any other care they recommend. The referral should be in writing and you should keep a copy for your file.

  25. What is a Section 12 Independent Medical Examination?
  26. A Section 12 Independent Medical Examination is an insurance company examination, not a second opinion. The doctor is hired by the insurance company and is being paid a lot of money by the insurance company for his opinion. We provide our clients with a list of things they should do and should avoid during these examinations. If you have received notice of an independent medical examination, you should call our office immediately to discuss the appointment.

  27. Who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?
  28. Under the Act, almost all workers are entitled to receive compensation for an injury suffered on the job. You may file a claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois if 1. You are injured in Illinois, or 2. You were hired in Illinois, even though the accident occurred in another state, or 3. Most of your work is in Illinois, even though you may have been hired or injured out of state. Even if your accident did not happen in Illinois, you may be able to file a claim in Illinois. In general, the benefits you are entitled in Illinois are far better than the benefits provided in other surrounding states.

    General Tips:

    • Report the accident in writing immediately. Keep a copy of the accident report.
    • Give a complete history of your accident at your first medical appointment.
    • Tell the doctor ALL of the body parts injured during the accident at the time of your initial examination.
    • Keep a file with all information related to your claim and keep a diary of all appointments and significant events during your claim.
    • Keep a record of all conversations with company representatives and witnesses.
    • Keep track of all the time you lose from your job.
    • Keep any and all documentation – letters, receipts, check stubs, bills, etc. Keep them organized. Do not throw anything away.
    • Get an off work, light-duty, or return to work slip from your doctor at every office visit. Always make sure the employer and the insurance company have a current off-work slip, signed by your doctor excusing your absence. This is the only way to ensure benefits while you are off work.