Workers’ compensation laws in the state of Illinois and elsewhere were created to make sure that employees who suffer an on-the-job injury or illness can get money to pay for their medical care and other financial hardships caused by their injuries. Workers’ compensation laws exist so that employees are not forced to sue their employers and hold them liable for their injuries in court.
In addition to this, workers’ compensation laws offer legal protections to co-workers and employers because they prevent — in many cases — employees from being able to sue their co-workers and employers. Workers’ compensation laws create what is essentially a “no-fault” system in which the negligence of the injured employee, the negligence of the employer and/or the negligence of co-workers is removed from the equation. This way, issues of fault become less important, leaving the workers’ compensation system to offer financial benefits to an injured worker so that he or she can get better without concern for who may have caused the incident.
Of course, it is important to note that issues of liability are not completely removed from the legal equation. Indeed, if it is shown that an employer was extremely negligent and/or unlawful in failing to provide safe working conditions, then the employer might also be exposed to liability for such negligence. Also, a third party might also be shown to be liable in certain cases. However, these situations are not that common. In most scenarios, workers’ compensation is the “exclusive remedy” available to an injured employee.
In spite of filing a workers’ compensation claim for benefits, injured workers in Illinois might still encounter difficulty receiving employee benefits. In these situations, an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help an injured worker overcome these challenges.
Source: FindLaw, “Workers’ Comp In-Depth,” accessed Aug. 31, 2016