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Can I Sue My Employer if I Was Injured at Work in Illinois?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Crystal Lake IL workers' compensation attorneyRegardless of your profession, you deserve a reasonably safe workplace. While some jobs such as construction work involve inherent risks including working from great heights, many steps can be taken to mitigate the risk of worker injury. If you or a loved one was hurt on the job because your work environment was unsafe, make sure you educate yourself about your legal rights. You may be eligible for financial recovery through workers’ compensation and, if the injury was caused by a third party’s negligence, compensation through a personal injury claim.

Injured Workers Can Only Sue Their Employers in Very Limited Circumstances

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The act protects injured workers’ right to receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages resulting from a work injury. Workers’ compensation is “no-fault,” which means that an injured worker is entitled to compensation regardless of whose fault the injury was. The Workers’ Compensation Act also protects employers from being sued by employees except in rare cases. Employees in Illinois can only sue their employer for an injury if:

  • The employer intentionally caused the injury by assaulting the employee or otherwise inflicting deliberate harm on him or her

  • The employer violates Illinois law by not carrying workers’ compensation insurance

Even if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence or carelessness, you cannot sue your employer and instead will need to rely on workers’ comp benefits for compensation.

You May Be Able to Sue a Liable Third Party

Workers’ compensation typically covers an injured worker’s medical bills and two-thirds of his or her lost income. It does not cover other damages such as the worker’s pain and suffering. If you were hurt in an accident caused by an unsafe work environment, you may be able to sue a party other than your employer and collect additional compensation. Through a third-party claim, you may be compensated for your full lost income and other damages like your physical pain and mental anguish. Third-party claims may be brought against a party if that party’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident. Third-party claims are often brought against:

  • The designer, manufacturer, or distributor of a defective product

  • A machine operator

  • A contractor or subcontractor

  • The owner of the property on which the injury occurred

  • Another company working at the same location

  • A negligent third-party driver

Contact a McHenry County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you were injured at work, you may be able to get compensation through a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party claim. A Crystal Lake worker injury attorney from Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC can help you explore your legal options and pursue compensation for your losses. Call 815-338-3838 for a free consultation.




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