Like most employees, Tim went to work, did his job, and went home again without worrying about how his company was managed. Then Tim was seriously injured at his construction site. As he lay in the hospital, he wondered if he had any benefits to cover his lost wages and medical bills. As it happened, his employer had insurance. However, Tim didn’t know what his boss needs to tell him about workers’ compensation benefits.
Basic Information About Workers’ Compensation
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp) is a form of accident insurance paid by employers.” In other words, employees do not pay for this insurance. However, workers’ compensation insurance pays injured workers for medical expenses and may also cover lost wages.
Illinois requires most employers to buy private workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, workers’ comp insurance covers most workers in Illinois. However, knowing you have the coverage and knowing how to access it are not the same. Above all, employees need to be informed about their rights and options.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act
This law (820 ILCS 305) (the “Act”) sets forth rules governing workers’ compensation benefits for Illinois workers. Under the Act, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (the “Commission”) manages the system, resolves disputes about work-related injuries, and provides information to employees and employers. In turn, the Act and Commission require certain actions from employers.
The Employer’s Responsibility
For instance, the law requires bosses to post information where employees can see it, including:
- Any information required by the Commission,
- A notice showing the employer’s insurance,
- A list of physicians accessible to the employees through the employer, and
- Notice that the employer has elected to self-insurance.
An injured employee who cannot work for three or more days needs to hear from his or her boss. In other words, the employer must either begin temporary total disability payments or:
- Provide the worker with a written explanation of any additional information the company needs, or
- Tell the workers in writing why benefits have been denied.
When employers fail to fulfill their responsibilities, a worker can turn to the Commission for assistance.
You Need an Attorney with Workers’ Compensation Experience. We Can Help.
The attorneys at Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C., are here to help with your workers’ comp claims. In fact, you can schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience representing people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.
We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County and Will County.