Workers’ Compensation FAQs
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of benefits paid by employers to workers who experience job-related injuries or diseases. Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws that provide benefits to employees injured on the job. In Illinois, employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. If an employee is injured while at work, the injured employee is entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and, in some cases, other benefits.
What are an employer’s obligations under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act?
Employers are required to:
- Obtain workers’ compensation insurance;
- Post a notice in each workplace that provides the name of the insurance carrier and explains workers’ compensation rights;
- Maintain records of work-related injuries and report injuries resulting in more than three lost workdays to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission;
- Refrain from harassing, discharging, refusing to hire, or discriminating against an employee in any way for exercising his or her rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act; and
- Refrain from charging an employee in any way for workers’ compensation insurance premiums or benefits that the employer is required to pay.
What are an injured employee’s obligations under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act?
If an employee is injured on the job, he or she must promptly report the incident to his or her employer. It is also the injured employee’s obligation, and not the employer’s obligation, to file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission within the established time limits. The injured employee must complete the workers’ compensation claim form, and include any accident reports completed by the employer. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney such as Lake County workers’ compensation attorney Bogdan Martinovich can assist you with the completion of workers’ compensation claim documents in order to help facilitate the claim process, and can advocate on your behalf should the claim be denied or approved in an amount that is less than the amount sought.
What are the various disability classifications and how do they affect workers’ compensation benefits?
An employee who is injured on the job will receive one of four disability classifications that will affect the type and amount of benefits to which the injured employee is entitled. The four disability classifications are as follows:
- Partial temporary disability: The injured worker is generally allowed to receive benefits based on a percentage of maximum benefits until released to their former job or until a determination that the injury is more permanent is made.
- Partial permanent disability: An injured worker is entitled to receive a percentage of the full benefit on a monthly basis for the remainder of his or her life, unless the condition improves.
- Total temporary disability: Injured employees that are totally disabled for a temporary period of time are usually paid the full benefit amount until they are able to return to work or their condition improves.
- Total permanent disability: An injured employee with a total and permanent disability will receive the full benefit amount on a monthly basis for the remainder of his or her life.
How are worker’s compensation benefits determined?
The Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission operates the state court system for workers’ compensation cases. A case is first tried by an arbitrator, whose decision may be reviewed by a panel of three commissioners.
Are there any exceptions to workers’ compensation benefits?
Workers’ compensation covers most, but not all, workplace injuries. The following are the situations in which an injured employee may be denied workers’ compensation benefits:
- Accidents resulting due to the injured employee’s intoxication or use of illegal drugs;
- Self-inflicted injuries, including injuries incurred as a result of the employee starting a fight;
- Injuries suffered while a worker was committing a serious crime;
- Injuries suffered while an employee was not on the job, and
- Injuries suffered when an employee’s conduct violated company policy.
Does workers’ compensation only cover injuries incurred at the workplace?
No, workers’ compensation laws also apply to traveling employees who are injured while performing reasonably anticipated activities, such as those that an employee in the airline industry might experience while on a layover.
What should I do if I am injured on the job?
The first thing you should do if you are injured on the job is report the incident to your employer or a supervisor and obtain medical treatment. You will need to promptly file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission within the established time limits and Lake County workers’ compensation attorney Bogdan Martinovich can assist you with the completion of workers’ compensation claim forms in order to help facilitate the claim process.
If you have been injured on the job, contact Bogdan Martinovich, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney located in Waukegan, Illinois, at (847) 996-1350 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your right to workers’ compensation benefits.