Illinois Workers' Compensation Settlements

Permanent disability benefits are workers' compensation benefits for individuals who have sustained a serious injury. The injured employee can receive permanent disability benefits in a few different instances.

The Act provides two types benefits for work injuries resulting in permanent injuries depending on whether the injured worker is able to return to work: permanent partial disability benefits and permanent total disability benefits. If you have questions about these benefits or would like our opinion on the right lawyer to represent you, please contact us.

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are benefits for injured workers due to the "permanent nature" of their injury. In reality it is kind of a myth because just about every work injury case has some PPD value. For example, you could break a bone and have it grow back stronger and you still would be entitled to a settlement or PPD award by an Arbitrator.

When your doctor has found that you have reached "maximum medical improvement" and you have successfully returned to work, you can begin to think about what your case is worth. Lawyers, Arbitrators and insurance companies determine the value of a case based on your medical treatment, any possible permanent restrictions, future medical care and the type of job you have returned to. They compare what you have gone through to the thousands of similar cases at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.

The amount of PPD benefits is determined by the part of the body that is injured, the extent of the injury, the average weekly wage the employee was earning for the 52 weeks preceding the accident and any work restrictions as determined by a medical professional. This compensation is either through settlement or arbitration award once your condition has reached a state of permanence.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If you can never return to work per a doctor's orders, if you have such severe restrictions that there is no stable job market for you or if you become paralyzed or lose two limbs you will receive permanent total disability benefits.

These benefits are higher than PPD benefits due to the major, long lasting nature of your injury. If you are paralyzed or lose more than one limb these benefits are automatic. Otherwise you will have to prove by medical evidence and often the testimony of a vocational counselor that you are permanently disabled.

You can be able to do some work and still receive these benefits, but that is not common. Often because of payments of social security benefits or a desire to end the case, injured workers will pursue a lump sum settlement for their permanent disability claim. It is common to figure out what the present value of a lifetime of benefits might be. For example, if you are receiving $40,000 annually in permanent disability benefits and have 30 years to live, it is expected that you'd receive $1,200,000 in your lifetime. Your lawyer can figure out what that is worth in a lump sum today and try to secure that for you.

Attorney fees on Illinois workers' cases settlements are generally capped at 20% of what is recovered for you. If you are permanently disabled and receive a lump sum settlement your lawyer fees are usually stopped after the attorney has received the equivalent of 20% of five years of benefits. If you are seriously injured it would be quite foolish to try and resolve a case without a lawyer.

If you have any questions about Illinois workers' compensation settlements or would like an attorney referral, please contact us at any time. All calls are free and confidential.