When a person is injured or made ill at work, it can be a frustrating experience. Not only are they concerned about regaining their health, but they may be incurring hefty medical bills and other expenses that they are unable to pay for, because they cannot work. It is for this reason that Illinois provides workers' compensation benefits to qualifying individuals.
Sometimes a dispute arises regarding a claim for workers' compensation benefits. When this happens, it may be possible for workers and employers in Illinois to negotiate the dispute, resulting in what is known as a "settlement contract." This is an agreement between the employer and worker that states how much money will be paid in exchange for closing the claim.
While some jobs, like working in the manufacturing or construction industries, present inherent dangers, the fact of the matter is that just about anyone in Illinois can be injured on the job. For example, a worker who strains to lift a heavy box could injure their back. Or, a person who types at a computer all day every day could develop a repetitive stress injury.
A successful workers' compensation claim can provide an injured worker with the financial support they need to recover from their harm and get themselves ready to return to work. There are many steps that must be followed to prevail in a workers' compensation claim, and this blog has addressed many of the issues that individuals can face when they decide to seek this specific form of benefits. One important issue that workers should be aware of, however, is the statute of limitations that applies to workers' compensation claims.
After a worker suffers an on-the-job injury, they are generally required to report their injury to their employer. This gives the employer notice of the harm the employee suffered as well as an opportunity to be aware of any claims the employee may make regarding their need for compensation. Illinois workers who are hurt while doing their employment duties should be prepared to provide their employers with certain information about the incidents that caused their harm.
A slip-and-fall at work can lead to months of pain and recovery for an Illinois resident. During their period of recuperation they may discover that they cannot get by without extra income on which to support their family. If they cannot work, they may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits until such time as they are back to working at their full capacity.
As has previously been discussed on this blog, a workplace injury can be a devastating event. Without the ability to work, a person and their family may suffer the financial ramifications of a period away from work and the stresses that accompany it. However, when the accident occurs while on the job, that worker may be able to receive workers' compensation through their employer.
An Illinois employer may be required to provide a hurt worker with compensation if that worker's injuries occurred while they were at work or while they were performing work-related tasks. However, if that employer is never told about the worker's injury then they may never have cause to begin providing that individual with benefits. In essence, a worker's ability to collect workers' compensation benefits does not begin until they report their workplace harm to their employer.
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.
When Illinois workers suffer injuries while on the job the harm they experience can be devastating. As they recuperate from their injuries they may find themselves unable to work and they may discover that the bills they have incurred from seeking treatment for their ailments are more than they can financially manage. As they regain their capacity to work they may wonder what options they have regarding the recovery of their losses from their employers.