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Frequently Asked Questions About Chicago Workers’ Compensation

Posted on November 17, 2021

You should be able to recover compensation after sustaining a workplace injury in Chicago. However, we know that recovering compensation can be challenging, particularly when dealing with aggressive insurance carriers or employers. Here, we want to address some of the most frequently asked questions about Chicago workers’ compensation laws, and as always, speak with a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to learn more.

Does My Employer Have to Carry Workers’ Compensation?

Nearly every employer in the state of Illinois must carry workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. There are very few exceptions to this. If an employer is required to carry this type of insurance and they do not, they could face significant fines and even criminal charges.

How Do I Know if My Employer has Workers’ Compensation?

By law, any employer who employees more than one person must carry workers’ compensation coverage. Employers are also required to post workers’ compensation notices in a conspicuous place in every worksite. Every worker has the right to know this information. If an individual does not see these notices in their workplace, they can make contact with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

What Will Workers’ Comp Pay For?

Workers’ compensation insurance policies are fairly robust in Illinois. All employees covered under workers’ compensation insurance should receive full coverage of all medical expenses arising as a result of the on-the-job injury.

Individuals can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits if they cannot work while they recover from their injury. These benefits will equal two-thirds of a person’s average weekly wage and continue until a person reaches maximum medical recovery and is able to return to work. If a person has to work a light-duty job that earns less money while recovering from their injury, they should receive temporary partial disability (TDP) benefits that pay two-thirds the difference between what they were previously earning and what they are currently earning at their new job.

In the event an individual is found to be permanently disabled, they will receive permanent disability benefits at the rate of their temporary total disability benefits for life.  

How Quickly do I Have to Report a Workplace Injury?

Workers’ compensation laws in Illinois require that a worker report any on-the-job injury within 45 days after an accident or diagnosis occurs. For example, in an individual sustains an acute traumatic injury, they have 45 days from the date the injury occurs to report the incident to their supervisor or employer. If an individual sustains an illness or suffers from a repetitive or cumulative use injury, the worker must report the injury or illness within 45 days after they become aware of the injury or condition.

There are some companies that require an individual to report an accident or injury before the 45 days required by law, but this is only a company policy. However, it is wise to report a workplace injury or illness as soon as possible, even if the injury seems relatively minor.

What if I Caused the Injury?

Individuals will be entitled to workers’ competition coverage even if they are completely or partially responsible for causing their injuries, with a few exceptions. In general, workers’ compensation insurance is considered no-fault, which means that an individual can recover compensation regardless of who caused the injury in the workplace. This also typically means that an injured worker cannot hold their employer or another coworker personally responsible for the injury, with very few exceptions.