Skip to content

Can I Lose My Job If I Sue for Workers Comp in Illinois?

Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

In Illinois, employees who are injured on the job or who develop work-related illnesses are entitled to seek benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. This system is designed to provide financial support and medical care for workers who cannot perform their duties due to their injuries or illnesses. It operates as a form of insurance, where employers pay into the system, giving employees the right to compensation without having to prove the employer was at fault for their injury. As such, if injured workers don’t get the compensation they need after a work related injury, there could be legal ramifications.

A common concern among employees is whether filing a workers’ compensation claim could lead to retaliation by the employer, including the loss of their job. Illinois law specifically prohibits this type of retaliation. If an employee exercises their right to file for workers’ compensation, employers are legally barred from discriminating against that employee for asserting their claim. This means that termination, demotion, or any adverse employment action that is based solely on an employee’s decision to file a workers’ compensation claim is not allowed.

However, it’s important to understand the nuances of job security following a workers’ compensation claim. While retaliation is illegal, Illinois does not have laws that guarantee a position will be held indefinitely for an employee who is unable to return to work for an extended period. Employers may fill a position if their business needs require it, provided the reason for replacing an employee is not the workers’ compensation claim itself. Employees should be aware of the protections they have under the law and also the practical limitations of those protections when considering their return to work after an injury.

Worker With Injured Hand Filing Papers

Understanding Workers Compensation in Illinois

Workers’ compensation in Illinois provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It is grounded in state law and designed to protect workers and employers alike.

The Illinois Workers Compensation Act

The Illinois Workers Compensation Act is the legislative framework that governs workers’ compensation in the state of Illinois. It prescribes that employers must provide no-fault workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This legislation ensures that workers who are injured or who contract an occupational disease in the course of employment can receive benefits such as medical care, wage replacement, and compensation for permanent disability without having to prove negligence on the part of their employer.

Eligibility for Workers Compensation Benefits

To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois, an employee must meet certain criteria:

Benefits may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
  • Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
  • Death benefits for surviving family members

It is important for employees to understand their rights and the procedures involved in claiming workers’ compensation benefits to ensure they receive the support they’re entitled to following a workplace injury or illness.

How Does Someone Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Workers’ compensation benefits typically cover injuries or illnesses that arise out of and in the course of employment. Some of the most common reasons someone might receive workers’ compensation include:

Workplace Accidents: These accidents apply to any injuries sustained in accidents such as slips, trips, falls, or machinery accidents while on the job.

Repetitive Motion Injuries: It doesn’t have to be a one-time event. Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis that result from repetitive tasks performed over time can also qualify.

Occupational Illnesses: Diseases or health conditions caused or aggravated by workplace conditions, such as respiratory problems from exposure to hazardous chemicals or asbestos-related diseases, can qualify.

Overexertion: You may get workers’ compensation due to strains, sprains, or other injuries caused by lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying heavy objects or engaging in physically demanding tasks.

Falls: Falls from heights, such as ladders or scaffolding, or on the same level due to slippery surfaces, uneven flooring, or other hazards can lead to a claim.

Motor Vehicle Accidents: Injuries sustained while driving for work-related purposes, including deliveries, transportation, or sales calls, can qualify as well.

Assaults or Violence: On rare occasions, a worker may suffer injuries resulting from physical altercations or assaults that occur in the workplace.

Occupational Diseases: Injured victims may have health conditions caused by exposure to toxic substances or environmental hazards over time, such as hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud noises or skin disorders from chemical exposure.

These are just a few examples, and the specific circumstances can vary widely depending on the nature of the work and the industry. Just because you don’t see your specific accident or injury listed here doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for a workers comp case.

The Legal Rights of Employees

In Illinois, workers who file a workers compensation claim are granted specific legal protections to shield them from unfair treatment or job loss due to their claim. The Workers’ Compensation Act ensures that employees can seek benefits without fear of retaliation.

Protection Under the Law

Employees are entitled to file a workers compensation claim in the event of a job-related injury or illness. Illinois law stipulates that during this process, an employee’s job is safeguarded, and they can seek workers comp benefits including medical expenses and wage replacement. These rights are enshrined in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, which provides a legal framework to equally benefit both employers and employees.

Prohibited Retaliation

It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a workers compensation claim. Retaliation may include:

Termination: An employer cannot lawfully fire an employee due to a claim.

Discrimination: An employee should not face poor treatment as a result of a claim.

Demotion: Workers are protected from being demoted based on their claim status.

If retaliation occurs, employees have the right to seek legal recourse. Employers found violating these laws may face penalties, and employees may be entitled to additional compensation.

Filing a Workers Compensation Claim

In Illinois, individuals filing for workers’ compensation are protected by law and have a clearly defined process to follow. An experienced attorney can provide guidance through this process.

The Claims Process

Filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois typically begins with notifying one’s employer of the injury or occupational illness within 45 days of its occurrence. Documentation is key; providing detailed information about the incident and the resulting injuries is critical. The claimant should seek immediate medical attention and keep a record of the dates of injury or first noticed symptoms, the names and addresses of witnesses, as well as descriptions of symptoms and treatments.

After notification, the employer should present a claim form, which needs to be completed and submitted to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). This filing will initiate the claim, and determine eligibility for receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

It is also important for employees to know that they have 3 years from the date of the injury or 2 years from the last compensation received to file a claim. Also, remember that in order to receive workers comp benefits you also have the right and obligation to receive medical treatment.

Following submission, the IWCC reviews the claim and eventually issues a decision. If the claim is disputed, a hearing may be scheduled.

Choosing a Workers Compensation Lawyer

When considering hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer, claimants should pay attention to their experience and credentials. Choose a lawyer with a solid track record in handling workers’ compensation claims. Check for proper licensing and good standing with the Illinois State Bar Association.

Claimants should consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss their rights and ensure compliance with all deadlines and documentation. Legal representation from a Chicago personal injury lawyer may increase the likelihood of a successful claim.

A workers’ compensation lawyer from Mike Agruss Law can provide an understanding of what benefits the claimant is entitled to, advice on how to navigate disputes or denial of claims, as well as representation in all interactions with the employer, their insurance company, and the IWCC.

Potential Outcomes of Suing for Workers Comp

When a worker in Illinois decides to file a claim for workers’ compensation, the outcomes generally revolve around recovering benefits due for workplace injuries and navigating the legal complexities that might arise.

Securing Workers Comp Benefits

Employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses typically seek to secure workers comp benefits. Successful claims may result in covering medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits.

Medical Expenses: Payment for necessary medical care related to the injury

Lost Wages: Compensation for a portion of the earnings lost due to the inability to work

Disability Benefits: May include temporary or permanent disability payments depending on the severity of the injury

A workers compensation attorney from Mike Agruss Law specializes in these cases and can guide employees through the process of filing a claim and negotiating settlements.

Risks and Considerations

While the primary goal is to receive due compensation, employees should consider potential risks before filing a claim. Illinois law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing a workers’ comp claim. Nonetheless, some employees may face unjust treatment or even dismissal. Employers or insurance companies might dispute the claim, leading to a potentially lengthy legal process.

Employees should weigh the benefits of pursuing a claim against these risks and considerations carefully, often with the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney.

Additional Resources and Legal Help

When navigating workers’ compensation claims in Illinois, access to the proper resources and legal support can be pivotal. Information and advocacy can significantly affect the outcome of a case.

Finding the Right Legal Advice

Individuals seeking legal advice on workers’ compensation in Illinois should consider Mike Agruss Law. Our law firm specializes in workers’ compensation cases and can offer detailed guidance through the complexities of filing a claim. An Aurora personal injury lawyer will provide personalized legal strategies aimed at protecting employees’ rights and ensuring fair compensation.

Work With a Workers Comp Attorney From Mike Agruss Law

In navigating the complexities of filing for workers’ compensation benefits, your peace of mind is paramount. With Mike Agruss Law, you’re not just securing legal representation; you’re gaining a trusted ally dedicated to your well-being. From ensuring your rights are protected to advocating for fair compensation, our expertise shines through every step of the process. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back, take the first step towards securing the benefits you deserve by entrusting your case to Mike Agruss Law.

Your future deserves nothing less than the commitment and excellence they offer. Contact us for a free initial consultation to begin.

Submitted Comments

No Comments submitted yet. Sharing your story will help others!

We are listening

We will respond to you at lightning speed. All of your information will be kept confidential.

Form successfully submitted!