Workers' Compensation in Illinois
In Illinois, workers' compensation (a.k.a., workers' comp, work compensation and workman's comp) acts as a substitute for wages an ill or injured employee would be earning, and provides medical care for workers who have been injured, become sick, or died as a result of performing their jobs. Employers in Illinois are required by law to have workers' comp coverage. Claims for injuries suffered at work should be filed with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.
There are some workers' compensation questions for which legal assistance is a necessity. For example, if your employer is uncooperative, uninsured or underinsured, if you have a severe injury, or if your work compensation claim is denied or contested you should speak to a workman's compensation attorney. In addition, if your injury stems from a defective piece of equipment or other product, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of the product. Keep this in mind when asking an Illinois work compensation lawyer to help you with your case.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Illinois Workers' Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- Injuries resulting from accidents (i.e.-tripping, falling, slipping) on the worksite fall under an employer's work compensation insurance.
- Self-inflicted injuries in the workplace and injuries that occur when an employee is drunk or under the influence of drugs, are not covered by workman's comp insurance in Illinois.
- Injuries or illnesses that result from repeated actions or exposures at your place of employment, such as lung damage resulting from chemical exposure, exposure to asbestosis, carpel tunnel syndrome, or loud noises that cause hearing loss.
- Dependents of a worker who dies from his work-related injuries will receive death benefits.
The Illinois Worker's Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Employer
- Speak to your boss about your injury within 45 days of its occurrence. Loss of workman's compensation benefits and a delay in the receipt of benefits may result if you fail to talk to your boss about your injury within the time limit.
- File a claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission: Your claim must be filed within two years of the date of the accidental injury, or recovery for your workplace injury is barred. If your claim is barred, you will not receive medical benefits, permanent disability compensation, or lost wages.
- Promptly Seek Medical Attention
- Make contact with an Illinois attorney who focuses on workers' comp law if you require assistance and/or if your claim has been denied.
Benefits Received in Illinois Under the Workers' Compensation Program
The following is a list of potential workers' comp benefits in Illinois:
- Medical Treatment: Healthcare providers are compensated by your employer's insurance for your hospital bills, physician bills, and costs of treatment resulting from your work-site injury.
- Wage Reimbursement: Your boss must compensate you for lost wages for the time you spend going to doctors' appointments, and traveling to and from the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission for hearings.
- Funeral: Reasonable compensation for funeral expenses may be possible.
- Death: An employee's dependents may be paid death benefits if the worker's death is related to his on the job injury. Whether the dependent is totally or partially reliant on the injured worker will influence the amount of death benefits the worker's dependents will get.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: Helps train an injured employee when an employee is permanently injured in such a way that he cannot go back to his original job.
- Income Benefits: In Illinois, there are several categories of income replacement benefits:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): TTD benefits are paid out when a worker requires medical attention and cannot work as a result of his injury.
- Amount: Two-thirds of the worker's pre-tax weekly wages. The length of time the payments continue will depend on the duration of the injury or disability.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short) : Payments will be made to the injured employee while the employee requires medical attention, but can still do some work.
- Amount: 2/3 of the difference between an employee's weekly wages prior to and following the employee's injury.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): The employee's work injury is so serious that he is completely unable to work.
- There are 3 kinds of PTD in Illinois:
- Specific Permanent and Total Disability
- Claimant Medically Unable to Work
- "Odd Lot" Permanent and Total Disability
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): When an injured worker can do some work, but has reached his medical maximum improvement, and will always be permanently affected by the injury. For instance, if the worker lost a toe or a finger.
- Amount: The injured worker will receive weekly benefits based on his impairment rating after his temporary total or partial benefits have ceased.
Why Hire A Illinois Workers' Comp Lawyer?
The outcome of a workmans' comp claim is significant for the worker and his family. Because the outcome is so significant, hiring an Illinois workers' compensation lawyer is a very smart idea. A work compensation attorney will be familiar with the Illinois process for filing workers' comp claims, can help you formulate a strategy for your case, discuss your options for compensation, and will be able to argue effectively in front of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.
Seriously think about employing counsel who has experience with workers' compensation law and can help you understand the legal implications of your situation and advise you on your future course of action. You should hire an Illinois workers comp attorney especially if there was a third party involved in your injury, or if your employer is uninsured or underinsured.
Illinois Workers' Compensation Code
Illinois Compiled Statutes:
- Employers Subject To Workers' Compensation
- Labor and Employment, 820 ILCS 305, § 1, 4.
- Covered Employees
- Labor and Employment, 820 ILCS 305, § 1, 2.
- Labor and Employment, 820 ILCS 305, § 4(a).
- Claims Procedure
- Labor and Employment, 820 ILCS 305, §§ 1, 2.