There are many advantages to being a member of a union when you sustain a work related injury. Involving your union in this process may be helpful in a number of ways. One benefit would be if your employer does not acknowledge that you advised them you were injured at work and refuses to report it to the workers’ compensation insurance company. A union representative would be able to meet with both you and a supervisor from the employer to document that proper notice of the injury was given and the proper paperwork is completed if it is necessary.
A second benefit to being a union member is that the union would be able to intervene if your employer refuses to allow you to seek medical treatment for your work injury. The union could file a grievance on behalf of the injured member to try to force the employer to let you receive treatment. In the event that the employer’s workers ‘compensation insurance company takes a position that your injury is not work related and refuses to pay medical treatment, the injured workers’ group health insurance plan that he or she has through the union’s Welfare Fund could agree to pay for the recommended treatment so that you can recover and get back to work. However, the union Welfare Fund will demand it be repaid if you are successful in proving your injury was work related and the bills should have been paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company. Any final settlement of the case should include that repayment provision.
Also in cases where the injury is denied by the employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company, the union may have a disability plan that could pay weekly benefits to the injured worker until he or she is recovered and able to return to work. Once again, however, that disability plan would require reimbursement of those benefits if you successfully prove your injury was work related.
Lastly, once you recover from your work related injury, the union can assist you in going back to work either for the employer you worked for at the time you were injured or for a different employer if you choose to change employers.
If you’ve sustained a work related injury, contact Morici, Figlioli & Associates. Our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injured workers since 1998. No matter how you were injured, we are here to help you recover maximum compensation for your pain and suffering call us at (312) 957-7724 or fill out an online contact form to begin.