The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 2.7 million workplace injuries and illnesses in the year 2020. The agriculture, mining, utilities, construction, and manufacturing industries accounted for a significant portion of work-related injuries. However, a workplace accident or illness can happen to anyone in any profession.
If you or a loved one were hurt on the job, you may be exploring your options. Workers’ compensation and personal injury laws can be complicated and hard to understand. Many people are especially confused by the role of liability in a work injury case.
Workers’ Compensation is No-Fault in Illinois
Employees who are hurt on the job are typically entitled to workers’ compensation as long as their injury is related to work duties, occurred at work, and happened while the employee was “on the clock.” In Illinois, workers’ compensation is no-fault. This means that the worker does not need to prove that an employer acted negligently or wrongfully to recover compensation.
Personal Injury Claims are Fault-Based
Illinois workers compensation laws vary significantly from personal injury laws. Unlike workers’ comp, personal injury claims are fault based. The injured person will need to prove that another party’s negligent or wrongful actions caused his or her injuries to recover compensation through a personal injury claim.
Injured workers may be entitled to monetary reimbursement through personal injury claims even if they were partially responsible for their injuries. Illinois follows a legal theory called comparative negligence in shared fault injury cases. Per this theory, an injured person may recover compensation as long as he or she was not over 50 percent at fault for the injury. The financial compensation an injured person may receive is decreased in proportion to his or her fault. If the injured person’s fault is 40 percent, he or she can receive 60 percent of the recoverable damages.
Pursuing Workers’ Compensation and an Injury Claim
It is possible for an injured worker to pursue financial recovery through workers’ comp and an injury claim against a third party. For example, if a construction worker was hurt in an accident caused by a contractor oversight, the worker may be able to sue the contractor and also pursue workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp provides reimbursement for medical bills and part of the injured person’s lost wages. Personal injury claims, on the other hand, may provide compensation for medical bills, full lost wages, lost earning capacity, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Contact an Elmhurst Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact [[title]] for help seeking compensation. We can help you identify the liable parties and pursue any and all means of financial reimbursement. Call our Bensenville injury attorneys at [[phone]] for a free consultation.