Injuries happen everywhere on a daily basis. They occur at home, on the roadway, at school, and even at your workplace. No matter where they occur, there is often insurance coverage available to cover such injuries. By law in Illinois, insurance is required nearly everywhere, including by your employer. This benefit is known as workers’ compensation insurance, and it covers a wide variety of situations should you find yourself a victim of a workplace injury.
What Is Workers Compensation Insurance?
Worker’s compensation insurance is a type of coverage that employers generally carry for the benefit of their employees. Not every state currently requires employers to have this insurance, which could potentially open the employer to personal liability claims. In Illinois, an employer must carry workers’ compensation in every work situation, regardless of considerations such as:
- Size of the company;
- Full-time or part-time employment;
- Length of employment;
- Employees’ citizenship status;
- Employees’ age; or
- Employee’s criminal record.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Following an on-the-job injury, you are usually entitled to collect certain benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation program. There are five primary types of benefits, including:
- Medical care coverage: Your employer’s policy will generally cover the costs of doctors’ visits, treatment services, examinations, prescription medications, equipment costs and travel expenses necessary to treat the injury, including ongoing rehabilitation or physical therapy;
- Temporary disability benefits: If you are unable to return to your normal work duties for a time, temporary disability payments may be available to help with your everyday expenses;
- Permanent disability benefits: This type of benefit is applicable when your injury results in the measurable permanent loss of physical or mental capabilities necessary to perform your current job requirements. Permanent disability may be partial or total depending on the severity of your condition;
- Vocational retraining: If your injury makes you unable to do your current job, you may able to collect benefits that will cover the cost of training or obtaining new skills so that you can work in a different capacity—sometimes for a new employer; and
- Death benefits: Fatal work injuries can leave the victim’s family without their primary source of income. Death benefits under workers’ compensation may be appropriate to help support the spouse, children, and other dependents of an employee who was killed on the job.
Prevention Is Key
If no injury occurs, there is no issue, no loss of work, no medical costs, and no other side effects. Employment continues as usual. As such, prevention is of the utmost importance to employers to avoid any claims. Therefore, employers in Illinois are required to have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program in place. These programs generally inlcude:
- Employee training and safety protocols;
- Workplace inspections; and
- Procedures for correcting unsafe conditions promptly.
Call a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
While employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage, insurance carriers often balk at paying submitted claims. It is also not uncommon for employers to downplay your injuries in an attempt to keep his or her costs from increasing. If you have been injured at work and are having trouble collecting the benefits you deserve, contact an experienced Kane County workers’ compensation lawyer. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C. today.