In exchange for immunity from civil litigation, state law requires most business owners to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. Through this insurance, workers who are injured on the job can seek compensation for medical expenses, a percentage of lost wages, and other losses without having to prove anyone was negligent or directly at fault for their injuries.
However, utilizing this system can be challenging without the guidance of a personal injury attorney. Understanding what is covered under your policy and how to navigate the claim-filing process can be made easier with the help of a knowledgeable Elgin workers’ compensation lawyer.
What Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Cover?
Workers’ comp covers any injury or illness that an employee sustains as a result of conditions they encountered at work. This can be a single incident, a series of incidents, or long-term exposure to harmful substances that contribute to a serious illness later on. With the exception of sole proprietors, limited liability corporations, and certain other businesses, most employers in Elgin are mandated to provide workers’ compensation insurance under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
Local business owners must also post notices in prominent places at worksites explaining the available workers’ comp rights, maintain comprehensive records regarding workplace accidents and injuries, and refrain from discriminating against or unfairly punishing anyone who uses their workers’ compensation. However, this insurance does not apply in situations where a worker:
- Suffers a self-inflicted injury
- Gets hurt while performing a task that is not job-related
- Becomes injured while violating company policy or state law
An Elgin attorney, such as the lawyers at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., could answer any questions about whether an injury or condition would be covered under an employer’s workers’ comp insurance.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Elgin
If an Elgin employee wishes to file for workers’ compensation coverage after a workplace accident, they must first file a report with their employer no later than 45 days after the incident, or as soon as they become aware of a serious illness stemming from work conditions. After reporting, the injured or sick worker must file a separate claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission within three years of either the date of the accident or the discovery of their condition.
Through workers’ comp insurance, a person injured in a workplace accident can seek compensation to cover any or all the following economic losses:
- Expenses for emergency medical care and long-term rehabilitation
- Job retraining costs if an injury is severe enough to necessitate a career change
- Two-thirds of their average gross weekly wages for any period of time in which they are temporarily unable to work (i.e. temporary total disability benefits)
- Two-thirds of the difference between normal gross weekly wages and adjusted weekly wages while performing a lighter workload during recovery (i.e. temporary partial permanent disability benefits)
- Permanent total disability benefits if a workplace injury results in permanent loss of bodily function
Unlike other civil lawsuits, workers’ comp claims cannot seek restitution for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. A local legal professional could outline the potential compensable losses in a specific workers’ compensation case and advise on whether civil litigation may be possible against a negligent third party.
Speak with an Elgin Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Workers’ compensation could provide comprehensive coverage for Elgin employees who are injured on the job, but it is not automatically granted to anyone who asks for it. There is a lengthy claims process for requesting these benefits, and failing to follow the requisite procedures could lead to wasted time and unrecovered losses.
If you want to increase your chances of filing this type of insurance claim, get in touch with an Elgin workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. A private consultation could provide answers to your questions and concerns, so call today to schedule yours.