FAQs

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits, or if you have a Personal Injury case or a Workers’ Compensation claim, the lawyers of Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer are here to help. If you're in Springfield-Decatur, Champaign-Urbana, Danville or anywhere across Central Illinois, we can help. The legal system can be overwhelming and complicated. Here are the answers to questions we get often.

Personal Injury

There’s no general number, but in most cases, you almost always have at least one year to file a lawsuit. This gives you plenty of time to research relevant laws and find a lawyer, but don’t wait! Certain lawsuits must be filed within this one-year period. The exception to this is if you are suing a government agency.

Because the government gets to write the rules, it’s harder to sue them. In some cases, you have as little as 60 days to file a lawsuit against a government agency.

Our legal team has the experience and resources to settle your case or litigate the matter, depending on what’s in your best interest. We work with medical experts, engineers / investigators and other experts to establish the evidence and the financial impact of your situation to maximize your recovery.

If you, a family member or a friend has been seriously injured or died as a result of someone else’s fault, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic number. The factors an insurance company or defendant looks at when evaluating your claim are numerous and vary by case. The most common factors used are those that come with a clear dollar value. These include lost wages, medical bills and lost property among others.

Not until consulting with a lawyer first! Most of the time, an insurance company will not pay you without obtaining your signature on a release. But a signed release allows the insurance company to be free from the obligation to pay anything more on your claim. It also prevents you from bringing up a lawsuit in the future.

A good legal team like the attorneys at Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer should be able to review a release and advise you whether you risk losing any rights by signing it.

Always view offers from an insurance company with suspicion. Remember, insurance companies are in the business of making money. Plus, if it’s not your insurance company, they don’t have your best interests in mind. That means they’ll use every legal trick in the book to force you into a quick settlement – even if it means they don’t play fair.

Contact an experienced legal team like the one at Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer before you accept any kind of settlement. You may be entitled to more than what the insurance company is offering you.

No! Despite what an insurance adjuster may tell you, you are not required to give a statement. Even if the insurance company sends you letters threatening to “close their file” without your statement, you should not give a statement.

Adjusters are trained to conduct interviews and to secure testimony that makes it less likely for their driver to be found at fault. If you give a recorded statement, it can be used as future evidence in a lawsuit.

No. The job of your lawyer is to maximize the value of your case. It’s commonly known that insurance companies rarely pay anywhere near the full value to injured persons who are not represented by a lawyer.

The legal team at Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer has a strong reputation, years of experience and access to investigators and expert witnesses to prove your case. We know how to prove an injury. The combination of these factors and our ability to take the responsible party to court is worth hiring us. We will do everything we can to get you the settlement you deserve. We help people in Springfield-Decatur, Champaign-Urbana, Danville and across Central Illinois.

Contact us to start your case today.

Workers' Comp

Immediately report your injury or illness to your employer. You should also immediately seek medical treatment for your injury or illness. Don’t wait to get better!

Once you’ve received proper treatment you should receive a Report of Injury from your employer and obtain a return to work report to give to your employer. Once you have your injury report, contact an experienced law firm like Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer to start your Workers’ Compensation claim.

Even if you do return to work, you may still have a claim.

For the most part, injuries that occur over time are covered. Good examples include carpal tunnel syndrome and permanent hearing loss. However, you will need medical verification of your injury and its connection to your job. Also, the law recognizes cumulative/repetitive trauma to back and neck.

You have up to two years to file a claim. After that two-year window, your chance to file a claim ends.

The Workers’ Compensation laws are complex and constantly changing. A qualified and experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney can assist you with the process of obtaining benefits and make sure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to under the Illinois state laws.

If you have questions, never hesitate to contact a qualified Workers’ Compensation attorney at any time during your claim process. A qualified attorney like one from Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer can often answer your questions during the initial consultation and make recommendations for moving forward.

Before pursuing benefits or if your claim was denied, contact Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer for the legal help you need.

Illinois law allows permanent total disability benefits if you are unable to return to work.

Yes. Between Social Security and Temporary Total Disability benefits, you are entitled to receive no more than 80% of your highest year’s earnings or your time loss compensation or pension rate – whichever is higher.

Social Security will reduce any retroactive benefits based on the wages you were receiving from the Temporary Total Disability. Similarly, the Department will reduce your ongoing benefits based on your Social Security benefits. Applying for Social Security benefits is ideal if you know you will be disabled for at least one year.

Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer can help you with Workers’ Compensation and Social Security. Call us today, 888-454-1721, if you have questions about either.

Yes. Here are some examples:

  • If you were hurt in a work-related automobile accident and the other driver is at fault
  • If your job took you onto some premises other than that of your employer and there was a hidden defect
  • If your injury was caused by someone other than a co-worker, or caused by faulty machinery or equipment

If any of the examples apply to your work injury, we may be able to get additional benefits for you.

The good thing about Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer is that we have attorneys who solely practice in each of these areas, and we work together to get more information.

Call Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer, 888-454-1721, today to discuss your Workers’ Compensation claim.

Social Security Disability

If you are found eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDIB), the amount you will receive each month is calculated based on your lifetime earnings, which differ for every individual. Please refer to your latest bi-annual statement from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to see how much (if any) SSDIB you may receive. Also, if you have unmarried children under age 18 (or under age 19 if still in high school) that live in your home, you may receive additional money to help care for them.

If you are awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will receive a monthly payment of up to $674.00 per month for an individual or $1,011.00 per month for an eligible couple. This amount may be reduced, however, if you and your spouse have too much income or resources.

Federal law regulates attorneys’ fees in Social Security Disability cases. So, virtually every disability lawyer works on the same fee basis. The lawyer’s fee is 25% of the past due disability benefits you get, up to the statutory maximum. There is no fee if you lose.

It can take approximately 4 months to receive a decision on your initial application. If your application is denied, it can take an additional year and a half to obtain a decision as your claim works its way through the appeals process. However, certain circumstances can shorten that time period, so let our attorneys determine if any are applicable to your case.

Sometimes disability results from a combination of health problems. Just because you can still do some things well doesn’t mean you’re not disabled. Depending on what your age is, work experience, and other factors, you could be entitled to disability benefits. Find out if you qualify for disability benefits here.

After a Social Security Disability claim is filed, the case is sent to a disability examiner. The examiner makes the initial decision on the claim.

Most people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are, in fact, denied. You can be denied for any number of reasons, often through no fault of your own. For example, you may be denied benefits if your doctor doesn’t know what’s important to your particular claim.

It is important to contact a lawyer today. Once you are denied, the clock starts ticking on the time you have to appeal. Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer can request “reconsideration” of your claim denial.

Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDIB) is for people who suffer with a disability and can no longer work. You may qualify for this program if you have worked a long time and paid sufficient FICA taxes. But, you may still be denied these benefits by the government.

If you have not paid enough money into the Social Security system to qualify for benefits, then you may still be able to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The government will look at your income status and review what resources are available to you. This is used in determining your qualification.

No lawyer can push around the federal government, or change the law to your benefit. An experienced lawyer, like the lawyers at Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer, can make the Social Security system work for you and can make the difference between winning and losing your case.

It is not up to your doctor to determine whether you are disabled. It is up to Social Security to make their own decision regardless of what your doctor thinks. It is important to contact a lawyer today to ensure the proper medical evidence is gathered to prove your disability.

If you are awarded Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDIB), you will be eligible for Medicare coverage after a waiting period of 24 months. If you are awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will be entitled to Medicaid coverage as soon as your entitlement to SSI begins.

Contact an attorney as soon as possible. Don’t wait until your hearing is scheduled. It may be too late for an attorney to gather the proper evidence and job history to make your case properly, if you wait until your hearing is scheduled.

Yes, mental illness is a frequently used basis for getting Social Security Disability benefits.

Don’t wait to see if your health improves. You have a limited time to appeal from your initial denial. Contact the experienced attorneys at Tuggle, Schiro, Lichtenberger & Themer today. Let our experience be the difference in your case.

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