The Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act provides workers with the legal right to recover compensation when they are injured on the job. The Act was implemented after the public became aware of the need for greater protections for workers in 1906. That year, the Illinois coal mine fire took place. There were 259 men and boys killed in the Illinois coal mine fire, and the tragedy raised the public consciousness as to the importance of ensuring that companies placed a greater value on the labor of their workers.
Prior to the implementation of workers’ compensation laws, the harsh reality was that companies often saw the loss of a worker’s life as a mere incidental cost to doing business and working with machinery, construction or manufacturing equipment.
With the Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act, all employees working in the state of Illinois now have protections in place if they are injured due to the nature of their work. The unfortunate reality of Illinois’ workers’ compensation laws is that they are not designed with the principle of fully compensating victims. These historical laws are designed with the intent of keeping workers off of public subsidies, rather than fully compensating them for the pain, suffering, loss of wages, medical expenses and other losses.
Because there are limited recovery rights for Illinois workers under current workers’ compensation laws, it is in their best interest to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Illinois workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to research the possible alternative methods that may be available for recovering damages in your case.Benefits Available Under Workers’ Compensation in Illinois
After you have been injured on the job, you may wonder what benefits you are entitled to receive. Workers who are employed in Illinois are covered by the Act. Even if you were working on a project outside of Illinois at the time of your accident, chances are that you may still recover compensation under the Act.
The basic benefits that you may be entitled to receive under the Act include:
- Medical treatment benefits (see here)
- Temporary total disability benefits (see here)
- Permanent partial disability benefits (see here)
- Lump sum benefits (see here)
- Lost time benefits
- Vocational training benefits
- Death benefits
Workers who have been injured on the job may also be concerned about whether their families may be entitled to benefits. In many cases, a worker’s income is the sole source of support for the family. If a worker is unable to continue working, then he or she may not be able to provide money for groceries, rent, mortgage payments, car payments, tuition, and a whole host of other family expenses. The laws regarding weekly benefit maximums and minimums change every year in Illinois, so workers may want to get in touch with a seasoned legal professional about available benefits.Availability of Lump Sum Settlements in Your Case
Lump sum settlements can be an attractive option for workers who may need instant access to significant sums of cash. The advantage of choosing this route is that a worker can have immediate access to cash payments. However, workers should refrain from accepting a lump sum payment before speaking with a legal professional.
In some cases, a worker’s injuries may worsen over time. If a worker accepts a lump sum payment, then he or she may be prevented from receiving additional funds for future medical expenses. A lump sum payment may not account for the permanency of an individual’s disabled condition, inability to return to work or other medical costs that were not anticipated at the time of settlement.Availability of Lost Time Benefits in Your Case
Instead of opting for lump sum settlements, it may be in your best interest to choose lost time benefits. There were over 50,000 claims filed in Illinois in 2011. In many of these claims, workers chose to obtain benefits for a Temporary Total Disability. Here are some of the qualifications that a worker must meet in order to claim benefits under this scheme:
- Must miss a minimum of three work days due to the injury
- The injury must be work-related
- Benefits may still be available if an injury is only partially-related to one’s work
- An employer must receive notice of the employee’s injury
Illinois workers’ compensation lawyers can help you deal with the technicalities and intricacies of the Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act. Getting in touch with an attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC who will help you to maximize any benefits that may be available to you.
For additional reading on Illinois Work Comp. benefits: