If you have been hurt in an accident in the workplace, you are likely entitled to claim benefits by filing a claim against your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Except for rare cases, the vast majority of businesses throughout Illinois are required to carry such coverage when they have one or more employees.
Workers’ compensation benefits can include reimbursement for any medical treatment that you will require, as well as benefits to help replace the wages you lose during your recovery. In the event that you have been left with a permanent partial or total disability, you can continue to receive benefits. Death benefits are also available to family members in cases of fatal workplace accidents.
While workers’ compensation is a great program for injured workers, this program does not cover all of the expenses that you may incur as a result of this injury. When you work with a workers’ compensation attorney in Chicago, we can help you examine the situation and determine whether or not additional factors contributed to your accident, and recover financial damages on your behalf.
We offer free consultations to start!
The Chicago personal injury attorneys from Duncan Law Group may be able to help you pursue a claim against your employer if they willfully concealed hazardous conditions in the workplace or they are guilty of major violations of safety regulations. We could also represent you in legal action against the manufacturer of a defective product that caused or contributed to your work-related injury. You would be able to seek additional damages through a third-party claim, which would be separate from your workers’ comp claim. You should not hesitate to contact our firm to learn more about your legal options.
One of the major advantages of workers’ compensation insurance in Illinois is that it is a no-fault system. Unlike a personal injury or wrongful death claim, where it is necessary to prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of the defendant, workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured workers regardless of who is responsible. You do not need to prove that your employer caused the accident, and you can even receive benefits if you were at fault for the accident – provided that you were not willfully negligent, which could include actions like coming to work drunk or high on drugs.
The major downside to a workers’ compensation claim is that the benefits it provides for lost wages are notoriously limited. The amount that you can receive in disability benefits is generally restricted to two-thirds of your average weekly wages, and the maximum that you could receive is currently set at $1,320.03. Even if your claim is approved for the full amount you deserve, you could still be left struggling to support yourself and your family. Furthermore, it is not possible to use a workers’ compensation claim to recover non-economic damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Typically, the person responsible for your accident is responsible for paying for your damages. If you suffer an injury at work where negligence is not present, you may choose to file a workers’ compensation claim. If your employer’s actions caused your accident, you may want to pursue a lawsuit against him or her in lieu of workers’ comp. However, if someone who does not work for your company caused your accident, you may have grounds for a third-party liability claim.
A third-party liability claim is a separate legal action you can file against a person or entity whose negligent actions led to your injuries. There are multiple types of third-parties who may be liable, including the following.
If you suffer an injury due to a defective piece of equipment, such as ladders, trucks, scaffolding, or forklifts, you can file a claim against any entity involved in the product’s line of distribution. These entities have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe and free of defects, and can be liable for any injury you suffer due to their oversight.
For example, say that you suffer a severe injury while working with a defective power tool on your construction site. You can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the tool for your damages, as long as you can prove three important facts.
Another type of third-party liability claim is against a negligent individual, such as a motor vehicle driver or third-party employee. General contractors and subcontractors are responsible for providing a reasonably safe workplace and following safety regulations, and if they fail to do so, they can be liable for your injuries.
For example, if you are working on a construction site with a subcontractor who hits you with a forklift, you can also file a claim against him for your damages. You will need to establish four separate elements to prove the subcontractor’s liability.
You will need to establish the same four elements of negligence if you are filing a lawsuit against a third-party motor vehicle driver. Since Illinois is a fault-based insurance state, you may also be eligible to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver prior to escalating to a lawsuit. To determine if you have grounds for a third-party liability claim and which type of action is right for your case, speak to an attorney at Duncan Law Group as soon as possible.
Accidents can happen at any time and in any place — including worksites. However, workplace injuries are more likely to occur in professions that involve dangerous activities, heavy machinery, or hazardous materials.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the manufacturing industry accounted for 15% of all private industry nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2019 alone, with 421,400 nonfatal injuries among the workforce.
The BLS provides the following statistics on workers who suffered nonfatal injuries and illnesses during 2019.
In 2019, 888,220 private industry employees suffered nonfatal injuries and illnesses that required days away from work. In comparison, 116,070 manufacturing employees suffered the same type of injuries and illnesses over the same time period. These employees experienced the following types of workplace injuries during 2019.
After a workplace accident, you can experience significant hardship. You may be unable to pay your medical bills, go to work and earn an income, or repair lost property. You may suffer from severe pain, disability, and psychological trauma due to your injuries. Through a workplace accident claim, you can recover compensation for these losses.
In Illinois, injured workers are eligible to claim compensation for economic and non-economic damages through civil lawsuits. Economic damages refer to your financial losses, while non-economic damages compensate your physical and emotional pain and suffering. Common types of damages in workplace accident claims include the following.
If you choose to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, the benefits you receive will be different. Illinois workers’ compensation provides funds for you to seek medical care after the accident, as well as disability benefits based on the severity of your injury. You can also receive compensation for job retraining if your injury prevents you from returning to work. Families of deceased employees may also claim death benefits and burial expenses.
Illinois’s disability benefits schedule is as follows.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you could be facing thousands of dollars in medical bills and a significant loss of income. It is for this reason that you shouldn’t delay in exploring your options with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Chicago. Depending on the cause of your accident, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim in addition to seeking benefits through workers’ compensation. Duncan Law Group has already recovered tens of millions of dollars in damages for past clients, and we are ready to do the same for you. Call now to find how our award-winning legal team can assist you.
Need help with your case? Contact us today for a free initial consultation!