Employees in Illinois are protected from the devastation of an on-site injury by workers’ compensation laws. Employees owe a duty to their employers to work and employers owe a duty to their employees to protect them from work-related injuries. Because it is impossible to prevent all on-the-job injuries, the system of workers’ compensation exists to ensure that these injuries do not ruin an employee’s future.
In Illinois, an employee who is hurt on the job can make a claim for workers’ compensation without having to prove his employer is at fault for the injury. In exchange for receiving compensation, the employee sacrifices his right to sue the employer.
If you have been injured on the job, an understanding of Illinois’ workers’ compensation laws will ensure that the system works in your favor.
Reporting Your Injury
In Illinois, workers must report an injury to their employer within 45 days of the incident. If you fail to report your injuries, you sacrifice your right to filing a claim at all. Even if you are unsure of the extent of your injuries, you must make a claim of some kind. It is acceptable to revise your report later if your injuries become more severe in the future. In the past, it has been demonstrated that employees do not always report their injuries out of fear that they may be fired or punished by their employers. Illinois law protects employees from this type of action. It is unlawful for an employer to punish an employee for making a workers’ compensation claim.
Illinois law provides for four categories of recovery when an employee has been injured on the job. The categories of recovery an injured worker may seek depend on the extent of the injury, recovery, and treatment.
The first category is temporary total disability, which permits an injured worker to recover two-thirds of the worker’s weekly paycheck during recovery and time away from work.
The second category is for medical expenses and includes treatment, visits to the doctor, prescriptions, and future treatment.
The third is known as permanent partial disability, which allows for a specified percentage of recovery for each part of the worker’s body that has been injured.
Finally, the last category is for the surviving family of a worker who has suffered serious injury or death.
Each category provides different types of compensation for the worker or his survivors, and having an understanding of each will help you realize how much compensation you are owed.
Seeking Legal Assistance
There is no requirement that any employee making a claim for compensation seek legal representation. However, if you have been the victim of a serious work-related injury, you should seek legal advice immediately. These cases can quickly become complicated and may require time to pursue your full compensation. At the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., we specialize in workers’ compensation and fully understand the Illinois system. We can help you understand the benefits of workers’ compensation and give you a free case evaluation.