Workers’ Compensation: Frequently Asked Questions in Lake County, IL

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program the government requires employers to participate in. The program, which the state government usually regulates, pays out benefits to workers who suffer injuries while on the job, regardless of who is at fault for the injury. In exchange for this, the employee gives up the right to sue their employer for the injury.

Who Pays Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Lake County, IL?

Most states require employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance from a third-party insurance company. Then, if an employee suffers an injury of the job, they file a claim, and the company will pay them their benefits as set out in government-approved tables. This set up has a couple of exceptions in some states for very large or small companies. Large, stable companies can choose to self-insure, which allows them to simply pay the benefits themselves. And, very small companies may not be required to carry the insurance at all.

What Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation will pay benefits for the vast majority of on-the-job injuries; however, it does not cover some categories of injury. Workers’ compensation will not pay for injuries resulting from an employee’s intoxication, self-inflicted injuries, and injuries suffered while violating the law or company policy.

Does Lake County Workers’ Compensation Cover Long-Term Illnesses and Problems?

Workers’ compensation will cover long-term issues as well as those stemming from acute accidents. Many people receive benefits for repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as for latent diseases resulting from work conditions like lung problems. But, workers’ compensation does not cover everyone. While state laws vary, common exempt classes include business owners, independent contractors, farm workers, domestic employees, and unpaid volunteers among others.

Does My Injury Have to Occur At the Workplace to Qualify?

Not necessarily. Workers’ Compensation will cover job related injuries even if the injury does not occur in the workplace. For instance, employees injured while traveling on business may qualify for worker’s compensation coverage.

What Benefits Will Workers’ Compensation Provide in Lake County?

The workers’ compensation system provides a variety of benefits including wage-loss, medical expenses, and, sometimes, job placement or training costs. However, these benefits are often moderate at best.

The type of benefit also varies based on whether you end up temporarily or permanently unable to work. After missing only a few days of work, you may qualify for tax-free wage-loss benefits equal to two-thirds of your wages. If you end up unable to work permanently, then you may also qualify for long-term benefits based on that disability.

Can I Receive Treatment from My Doctor?  What if I Do Not Trust My Employer’s Doctor?

Most states will require you to use a doctor that the employer provides. This can have a serious impact on the case because the doctor may attempt to downplay the seriousness of the injury. Consequently, it is imperative that you provide a complete and accurate medical history that lists any serious health issues you may have had in the past, without providing them extra, unnecessary information that they may use to disqualify you.

If I Am Initially Treated by an Insurance Company Doctor, Do I Have the Right to See My Own Doctor at Some Point?

The answer to this varies from state to state. Many states will allow you to switch over to your own doctor after a certain period of time, or if you do not like the doctor the insurance provides. Additionally, many states allow for second opinions in the case of serious injuries.

Do I Have the Right to Sue My Employer after A Work Injury in Lake County, IL?

You do not have to use the workers’ compensation system if your injury resulted from an employer’s intentional action or recklessness.

What If My Employer Tells Threatens to Fire Me If I File for Workers’ Compensation?

Most states make taking retaliatory actions against employees filing for workers’ compensation a violation of the law. Do not be afraid to report this if it happens.

If you have any other questions about work-related injuries, please contact Newland & Newland today. We provide support to clients in Lake County, McHenry County, Cook County, DuPage County, Crystal Lake, Arlington Heights, Barrington, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and throughout Northern Illinois.

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL