The workers' compensation system in Illinois reimburses injured workers for a portion of their lost wages and any medical expenses associated with their workplace injury. It is designed to be an employee's sole method of taking legal action against an employer after he or she suffers a work-related injury.
At Keith Short and Associates, P.C. in Alton, Illinois, we focus on helping injury victims obtain the compensation they need. Attorney Short is known for providing outstanding, compassionate representation that gets results. He has been practicing law since 1992 and has built an impressive track record of success, helping many people and their families focus on important issues, rather than worrying about money and when they can return to work.
Workers' Compensation FAQ for Employees in Illinois
Below are some commonly asked questions to help our clients gain a better understanding of workers' compensation:
Is my injury covered? — In general, any work-related injury is covered by the Illinois workers' compensation system. So long as you were injured while performing tasks associated with your employment, you will more than likely be entitled to benefits.
Will my employer hold this against me? — No. The law bars employers from using workers' compensation claims against its employees or treating them differently from other workers. You may have additional claims against your employer if it does so.
What is my first step? — You first step should always be to notify your employer of the injuries you sustained. You may notify your employer either verbally or in writing, but failure to do so could jeopardize your ability to obtain benefits.
How do I know if I have a claim? — The only way to know if you have a claim is to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. By discussing your case, you can learn your options and decide on the best way to proceed for your specific situation.
Can I choose my own doctor? — With certain limitations, yes. You should consult with an experienced lawyer to discuss what restrictions, if any, might apply.
Why do I need the help of a work comp attorney? — Your lawyer will accurately and completely fill out your claim documents and submit them in a timely fashion. He or she will also handle all negotiations with your employer's insurance company, obtain the necessary medical records and can appeal any wrongfully denied claims. Mistakes are often made by anyone not familiar with the Illinois workers' compensation system, which could impact your ability to receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
Can I file a personal injury claim? — The workers' compensation system is set up to be an employee's exclusive remedy against his or her employer. However, depending on your situation, you might be able to file personal injury claims against liable third parties, including nonemployer supervisors, equipment manufacturers, motor vehicle drivers or contractors.
What if I cannot return to work? — If your injuries result in a permanent disability, you will be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits. These benefits amount to two-thirds of your weekly income, plus the cost of medical care associated with your injuries.
What if the injury was my fault? — Workers' compensation in Illinois is a no-fault system. So long as you were injured on the job, you are entitled to benefits whether or not your injuries were your fault.
What if I lost a loved one in a work-related accident? — The Illinois workers' compensation system also provides benefits for family members who have lost a loved one in a work-related accident.