Losing work due to a job-related injury can be an extremely stressful and an uncertain time. Thankfully, injured employees in Illinois are entitled to recover benefits under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act. When the employee is injured and can’t return to work, wages are lost. Under the Act, temporary disability payments are available and paid weekly to replace the wages the employee would be entitled to had the injury not occurred. The Act also states that the employer is responsible for paying all medical expenses of the injured employee.
Medical Bills, Lost Wages, Permanent Disability
To qualify for worker's compensation, an employee must generally be covered by the employer's worker's compensation insurance policy and must have suffered an injury or illness as a result of their job duties. In some cases, employees may be required to notify their employer of the injury or illness within a certain time frame and may be required to undergo a medical examination to determine the extent of the injury or illness.
If an employee is eligible for worker's compensation, they may receive a variety of benefits, including medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits. Medical expenses may include the cost of hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and other medical treatments. Lost wages may include the employee's regular pay as well as any overtime or bonuses that they would have received if they had not been injured. Disability benefits may include payments to compensate for any loss of earning capacity resulting from the injury or illness.
Negligence Claims Against Third Parties
Worker’s compensation claims are different than a liability claim against a “third party.” The latter involves a negligence claim against a defendant that caused the injury. As opposed to third party liability claims, worker’s compensation cases do not require the injured employee to prove negligence/fault. For example, if an employee slips at work, he may be entitled to a worker’s compensation claim even if the slip was of no particular fault of the employer. Further, if a third-party other than the employer was negligent, they may have a third-party negligence claim in addition to their worker’s compensation claim.
If an employee injures themselves while they are not on the job, they might still have a worker’s compensation claim. In such an event, an attorney must assess whether anyone was at fault in order to determine whether compensation may be available.
In certain instances, a worker’s compensation case also includes a “third-party” liability claim. For example, when a delivery driver, during the course of his employment, is injured in a car accident, he will have a worker’s compensation claim as well as a claim against the at-fault driver.
What to Know About Workers' Compensation
- Form of employer insurance coverage that pays you if you are injured or become disabled on the job or as a result of your work.
- Be vigilant! When you accept workers' compensation benefits you are waiving your right to sue your employer for damages in court and your case must be settled within the workers' compensation policy provided by your employer.
- Compensation may include partial salary reimbursement and/or the coverage of medical costs.
- Workers' compensation differs from unemployment benefits or disability insurance and should not be confused with the two.
- Your employer cannot terminate your employment because of the filing of a claim under the Worker’s Compensation Act. This would create an additional cause of action for retaliation.
Common Work-Related Injuries
Common work-related injuries can be devastating and may require comprehensive and long-term medical care. Exposure to harmful substances or environments, overexertion, back injuries, work-related motor vehicle accidents, machinery and tool accidents, slips, trips, and falls are just some of the most common work-related injuries you can receive repayment for. According to the United States Department of Labor, more than 2,500,000 workers suffer from such non-fatal, but often life-changing illnesses and injuries and over 5,000 are injured in the workplace in such a way that proves to be fatal (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/iif/).Contact us
for a free consultation today.