Worker’s compensation is an insurance that guarantees medical coverage, disability and other benefits for injured workers. Every state has separate requirements for employers to provide worker’s compensation coverage, and this is often determined by the minimum number of employees working at the company. In Illinois, even a business with only one employee must obtain worker’s compensation coverage.
Employers in Illinois are required under the Worker’s Compensation Act to either buy insurance or get permission from the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission (IWCC) to self-insure against worker’s compensation liabilities. Even out-of-state employers who conduct business or do any work in Illinois must comply with Illinois coverage for those workers.
Only sole proprietors, business partners, corporate officers and members of limited liability companies may opt out, unless they are in “extra hazardous” industries such as construction or trucking, in which case they must obtain insurance.
Worker’s compensation for employees
An estimated 91% of all Illinois employees are covered under state law, and from the moment they are employed, they are covered and must be insured. Employers are required to post a completed worker’s compensation notice in a conspicuous place on all work sites. If an employee suspects that their employer does not have insurance, they may report them to the IWCC, and their call will remain anonymous.
If an employer is noncompliant with the law, they can be held liable through escalating fines, and will also lose their protections under the Act. When this happens, an injured employee can pursue a claim in civil court, where there is no limit on damages.
Depending on the profession, workers in Illinois can be injured in any occupation. Their injuries can result in temporary or permanent disability. The top causes that make up nearly 85% of all work-related injuries are:
- Overexertion from lifting, pushing, carrying or throwing, with the back most commonly affected
- Repetitive motion that results in stress on a particular part of the body, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome, knee and spinal injuries
- Slips, trips and falls
- Contact with objects and equipment
For residents of northern Illinois who have been injured on the job, it is essential to promptly follow the required reporting procedure, and then seek skilled legal aid with proven experience in worker’s compensation law who will fight to make sure that you will receive the compensation that you deserve.