If you become injured at work in Illinois, under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act, you may collect compensation while you are unable to work. Illinois enforces a "no fault" wage replacement system that pays you medical benefits and lost wages while you are incapacitated from work.
At Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd., we care about your rights as an employee in the state of Illinois. We are never too busy or too distracted for your questions or needs. Our experienced and successful lawyers don't work for the money, we work for you.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation System
Although the Workers’ Compensation Act forces you to give up your right to sue your employer, you have the right to compensation without having to prove fault. But your employer’s liability is limited to specific benefits outlined in the statute. Many employees who suffer a workplace injury find that these benefits are substantially less than what they might be able to recover in court, but they are guaranteed income and come with protection against employer retaliation.
The “no fault” system seems like a fair and balanced system. However, disputes between workers and employers often arise, and the workers’ compensation laws are difficult to understand. To make matters worse, insurance companies typically fight an employee’s legitimate claim, making the process stressful and frustrating.
Workers' compensation claims are administered by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC).
Your Rights as an Injured Employee
If you have been hurt in a workplace accident, you need to know your rights. Injured workers in the state of Illinois are entitled to receive:
- Medical treatment: You have the right to medical treatment for your work-related injuries at no cost to you. You also have the right to any doctor of your choice.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD): If the doctor determines that you are unable to work while you are being treated for your injuries, you are entitled to temporary total disability benefits. This means that you can receive up to two-thirds of your salary (with established maximums depending on the date you were injured) as you recover.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD): After you are released from your doctor’s care, you may be able to collect permanent partial disability benefits. This amount will be determined by where you are injured, how badly you are injured, and your average weekly earnings for the year prior to your accident.
- Vocational rehabilitation: If your doctor determines that you are not able to return to your job, you have the right to vocational rehabilitation at no cost to you. This program was created to help you resume gainful employment or by giving you the skills necessary to return to suitable employment.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTP): If you are unable to return to your job or find any kind of gainful employment despite vocational rehabilitation, you may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits.
- Social Security Disability: If your injury causes you total disability for one consecutive year or is expected to, you have the right to receive Social Security Disability Benefits in addition to workers’ compensation.
- Death benefits: Surviving spouses and children may continue to receive up to two-thirds the deceased's salary for up to 25 years, as well as burial benefits.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. can help you obtain the money you deserve while you are unable to work. We offer free consultations and never charge unless we win your case. If you live in the Chicago area, please contact our law firm today.