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Benefits Available in Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claims

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Workplace injuries are more than just painful and inconvenient, they also cause financial hardship for the victim and their family if the injury prevents a prompt return to work or keeps them from returning in their previous capacity—or at all. A successful workers’ compensation claim in Illinois provides swift relief from financial worries by covering the injury victim’s medical expenses and a portion of their weekly wages. Providing workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for all Illinois employers, even those with only a single employee. Not only does this insurance protect injured workers from lost pay due to an injury but it also protects the employer from lawsuits.

If you’ve been injured at work and have a significant road to recovery ahead of you, or you’re facing disability due to the injury, a workers’ compensation claim can quickly become a lifeline. All injured employees need to know what benefits are available to them through Illinois workers’ compensation insurance.

Illinois Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims

Illinois workplace injury victims have up to three years after the injury to file a workers’ compensation claim for reimbursement of medical expenses and wages, or for disability benefits. If the claim is to reopen a previous case, the injury victim has up to two years from the date of their last payment.

medical benefits after Illinois workplace injuries

Medical Benefits After an On-the-Job Injury in Illinois

After suffering an injury at work, the injured victim should inform their immediate supervisor or manager as soon as possible and ask for an accident report. It’s imperative to seek medical treatment immediately, not only for emergency treatment for the injury but also to provide documentation that the injury occurred at work. Some injury victims go home first and seek medical attention later which gives workers’ compensation insurers cause to dispute that the injury occurred at work.

Workers’ compensation will reimburse you for the initial emergency medical treatment later if you file a claim. Then, a successful workers’ compensation claim in Illinois pays for medical treatment, rehabilitation, prescriptions, and any other medical costs. In most cases, the employer chooses the medical providers.

To qualify for Illinois workers’ compensation, an injury victim must notify their employer within 45 days of the injury.

Common Causes of Work-Site Injuries in Illinois

Some work environments are high-risk industries; for example, construction and agriculture injuries generate the highest numbers of workers’ compensation claims, but accidents can occur even in office environments. Common causes of workplace injuries in Illinois include the following:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Falls from heights like ladders, roofs, and scaffolds
  • Machinery malfunctions
  • Struck-by object accidents
  • Transportation accidents
  • Burns
  • Explosions
  • Electrocutions
  • Falling objects
  • Chemical exposures
  • Caught-between accidents
  • Over-exertion
  • Repetitive motion injuries

Injuries in the workplace occur in a variety of ways ranging from tripping over a charging cord in an office or slipping on a mopped hospital floor, to falling from a scaffold. Workers’ compensation provides both medical coverage and a portion of the victim’s average income during recovery, or death benefits to family members after a workplace death.

Common Injuries in Illinois workers' compensation claims

Common Workplace Injuries In Illinois

Many injuries in the worksite are minor and the employee fully recovers, but faces temporary financial hardship from medical expenses and time away from work. A workers’ compensation claim covers the employee for both, so they don’t face financial hardship. Other injuries are catastrophic, causing permanent disability. A workers’ compensation total permanent disability claim provides income to disabled workers. Common injuries in Illinois workplace injury claims include:

  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Burns
  • Electrical burns
  • Illness from toxic exposure
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Traumatic amputation
  • Soft tissue injuries

Workers’ compensation in Illinois protects families from economic damages after an accident occurs at work.

Wage Differential Claims for Workers’ Compensation

When an injury prevents the worker from returning to work in their previous capacity while they recover, but they are able to work a light-duty position or reduced hours, workers’ compensation covers their medical care costs and provides 66.6% of the difference between their usual average pay and their light-duty pay. This is known as a wage differential claim for workers’ compensation.

Temporary Partial and Total Disability in Workers’ Compensation Claims

This is the most common outcome of workers’ compensation claims in Illinois. In addition to providing medical care, temporary partial disability (TPD) pays 66.6% of the injury victim’s average weekly pay while they recover, receive treatment, or undergo rehabilitation. The payments stop once a doctor clears the victim to return to work in their former capacity.

Some injuries are recoverable but require the injury victim to stop working completely while they heal. In this case, the injury victim may claim temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. This coverage provides 66.6% of the injury victims weekly pay until they recover and a doctor clears them to return to work.

Permanent Partial and Total Disability in Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claims

Most workplace injuries are relatively minor with a prognosis of full recovery, but others are life-altering or catastrophic. Injury victims with catastrophic injuries may make claims for permanent income through workers’ compensation. If the injury causes permanent partial disability, but the injury victim is able to work in a light-duty position, the coverage provides 66.6% of the victim’s average weekly wages permanently. Alternatively, they may seek a lump sum settlement.

If the injury causes permanent total disability (PTD), the disability payments continue for the remainder of the victim’s life or they may negotiate a lump sum payment through a settlement.

Death Benefits From Illinois Workers’ Compensation

When an Illinois employee dies from injuries suffered while on the job, or from illnesses due to toxic exposures at work, workers’ compensation pays their closest family member (typically the spouse) $8,000 in funeral expenses and 66% of the employee’s wages for 25 years or no more than $500,000. If the spouse remarries, any children from the marriage receive the remaining benefits. If a spouse remarries without eligible children, the spouse receives a lump sum payment of two years of benefits before closing the claim.

You can find more answers to frequently asked questions here or contact an Illinois injury lawyer.