Workers’ compensation is a form of no-fault insurance that provides needed benefits and wage replacement to workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses that prevent them from working and earning income. Because injuries and illnesses of this type have such an overwhelming potential to create significant strains on workers and their entire families, workers’ comp is in every way a vital safety net that can make the difference when it matters most.
Because most workers are not familiar with how the Illinois workers’ compensation system works, our legal team at Leonard Law Group wanted to provide some vital information about who is covered by workers’ comp. As Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys who have helped thousands of workers and families navigate the process, we know it is critical for workers to understand when they are eligible to receive needed benefits. In addition to helping you understand whether you are covered, we can also help you take the steps in applying or appealing any decision you don’t agree with.
Although every case is different, you may generally be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois if:
Your Employer has workers’ compensation insurance – Most employees in Illinois are covered by the Act, and most employers are mandated by law to carry workers’ comp insurance for any person who is hired, injured, or has their employment localized in the state. Certain individuals, including corporate officers, sole proprietors, business partners, and members of LLCs may exempt themselves. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission reports that over 91% of workers in the state are covered under the Act.
Your injury / illness was work-related – Be it a traumatic injury resulting from an isolated incident, a repetitive stress injury, or an occupational illness – your injuries must arise out of and in the course of employment in order to receive benefits. This means the injury occurred as a result of performing job-related duties, and proving it as such with evidence, medical documentation,
Certain types of injuries – Workers’ compensation covers a range of work-related injuries and illnesses, including:
- Temporary total disability – TTD pays benefits while workers recover from an injury off work.
- Temporary partial disability – TPD pays while when workers are recovering but working light duty for less compensation.
- Some Permanent Partial disability or disfigurement, with some ability to work
- Permanent total disability when rendered unable to work
- Occupational illnesses or disease
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Loss of limbs, hearing loss, etc.
- Death benefits for surviving relatives
You timely reported an injury – To be eligible to receiver workers’ comp benefits, employees must meet strict reporting requirements. Waiting or failing to report an injury or illness to an employer could comprise your right to benefits, or severely delay and complicate the process. Generally, the employee must notify the employer as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the accident. Workers injured as a result of other factors, such as exposure to harmful substances, may have longer to report.
Third party liability – Although you may be eligible to receive WC for a work-related injury, there may be situations where it is more appropriate to seek compensation through other means – including a personal injury lawsuit filed in civil court. This is especially true if an injury or illness was caused by the negligence of a third party, such as a negligent contractor, negligent motorist who caused a car accident, or manufacturer of an unsafe or dangerous product.
Learn About Your Right to Benefits!
Remember, just because you are eligible to receive benefits does not mean they will be automatically or immediately awarded – or that you’ll receive the full scope of benefits you need and deserve. This is especially true given the complexity of the workers’ comp process, unfamiliar laws, extensive rules and deadlines, and numerous requirements employees must meet when submitting applications and documentation.
To protect your rights and make the most of your opportunity to secure needed benefits, you can work with experienced lawyers like those at Leonard Law Group. Our client-focused legal team has helped numerous injured workers throughout the years, and has recovered over $500 million on their behalves. Contact us today to discuss your case and rights during a free case evaluation.