Workers’ compensation is a system of benefits that: pays for the medical costs of job-related injuries and diseases, covers almost every employee in Illinois, and starts from the moment a job begins. For a worker to obtain compensation under the Act, the worker bears the burden of showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that they have suffered a disabling injury which arouse out of and in the course of their employment. Corn Belt Energy Corp. v. Illinois Workers' Compen. Commn., 56 N.E.3d 1101, 1107 (Ill. App. 3d Dist. 2016).
The “arising out of” component pertains to the origin or cause of the worker’s injury. First Cash Fin. Services v. Indus. Commn., 853 N.E.2d 799, 803 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2006). To satisfy this requirement, an employee must show that the injury had its origin in some risk connected with, or incidental to, the employment so as to create a causal connection between the employer and the accidental injuries. Corn Belt Energy Corp. 56 N.E. 3d at 1107-08.
The “in the course of employment” component refers to the time, place, and circumstances under which an accident occurred. An accident occurs in the course of employment if it is (1) within the period of employment, (2) at a place where the employee reasonably may be in the performance of the employee’s duties, and (3) while the employee is fulfilling the employee’s duties or is engaged in something identical thereto.
Additionally, the worker must prove the following: the worker was an employee of the employer on the date of the accident, the employee was injured or exposed to a disease because of their employment, the injury was caused by or made worse by the incident, the employee notified the employer within the correct time limits, and if the injury is from everyday activities or movement, then the worker was at a greater risk of injury than the public.
What should you do as an injured employee?
To receive workers’ compensation, an injured worker must do the following: get first aid or medical attention as soon as possible after they are injured. Next, they must work with doctors and try to completely heal so they can return to work, if returning to work is possible. A worker may lose benefits if they fail to try to get better or if they do things that may make their injury worse. In addition, the employee must tell the doctors treating them that the treatment is for a work-related condition. Doing this will alert the doctors that the employer should be paying the medical bills.
Additionally, the employee must also give the employer the name and address of the doctor/hospital they chose. If the employee changes their provider at any point, then they should tell their employer. Lastly, the employee must also give the employer all their medical records that have to do with their injury or illness.
An employer is not required to provide benefits if it does not receive the necessary medical information. It is important that the employee’s doctor sends the employer medical records because if they do not, the employee’s benefits may be delayed.
What injuries are usually covered under workers’ compensation?
Many work-related injuries are covered under workers’ compensation. These injuries include physical injuries, but also illnesses. It can include an injury caused by the repetitive use of a body part at work, a stroke caused by work, a heart attack caused by work, other physical problems caused by work, and any pre-existing conditions made worse by work. Some of these injuries can occur from specific incidents at work, such as a slip and fall. These injuries may include broken bones, dislocated bones, lacerations, herniated disks, concussions, burns, and many other wounds or damages to the body resulting from a work-place injury.
However, workers’ compensation doesn’t only cover injuries from physical accidents, it can also cover occupational illnesses. An occupational illness is an event or exposure that occurs in the workplace that causes or contributions to a condition or worsens a preexisting condition. An example of an occupational illness is a skin disease or disorder. This is an illness involving the worker’s skin that is caused by work exposure to chemicals, plants, or other substances. Another example is a respiratory condition, which is an illness associated with breathing hazardous biological agents, chemicals, dust, gases, vapors, or fumes at work. Some other examples include poisoning, hearing loss, heatstroke, sunstroke, heat exhaustion, heat stress, frostbite, and freezing.
We at Sherwood Law Group may be able to help you. Our experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys will thoroughly evaluate your case and get you the compensation that you rightfully deserve for your injuries. All consultations are absolutely free. Contact Sherwood Law Group at 312.627.1650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.