The costs and time needed to litigate every on-the-job injury that Illinois workers may suffer would be astronomical and practically impossible for employers to manage. Some businesses may not be able to keep their doors open and their facilities operating if they had to go to court over every harm that befell their workers. To avoid this logistical and legal headache the workers' compensation system was put into place to provide workers with help and without assigning fault in worksite injury cases.
Generally when a worker gets hurt while doing the tasks of their employment they collect workers' compensation rather than suing their employer. However, there are special cases that exist that may require workers to take on extra legal actions. Those cases involve injuries that result from intentional torts and those that result from the wrongful termination of workers' compensation benefits.
Intentional torts are injuries that individuals suffer due to criminal or intentional conduct. For example, a worker who suffers an assault and battery by their employer would have the right to sue their employer for the harm they suffered. These types of injuries and damages are not compensable through the workers' compensation system.
Also, defamation and other intentional acts that may cause a worker to suffer harm can be used as the bases of lawsuits against an employer. It is important that workers discuss their possible legal cases against their employers before filing lawsuits to make sure they should not be using the workers' compensation process. This post is offered as information only and readers are advised not to use it as legal guidance or counsel.