In Illinois, most workers who are hurt on the job have the option of seeking workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation offers a variety of benefits to workers, not just a payment for their care.
There are several benefits provided by workers’ compensation. These may include:
- Wage replacement
- Death benefits
- Permanent total disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Coverage for medical care
Each of these benefits is there to help those who have been hurt and may also cover losses in the event of a worker’s death.
Do employers have to carry workers’ compensation insurance?
Yes. Employers should carry workers’ compensation insurance in most cases. This insurance helps prevent workers from being able to sue the employer directly in the case of an injury.
There are exceptions to the rule. Some employers may be too small to have insurance or may be self-insured, but they still need to be insured within the requirements of the law. If they are not, then a worker could sue the employer for compensation following an injury.
What can you do if you’re hurt on the job but your employer doesn’t have insurance?
Other than suing your employer for compensation following an injury, Illinois also has the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund, which was created in 2005 to collect fines and penalties from employers who choose not to obtain workers’ compensation illegally. The money from those uninsured employers goes into the fund and is used to pay benefits to those who are hurt while working for those uninsured employers.
What do you need to do after you’re hurt at work?
After you’re hurt on the job, let your employer know that you need to seek medical care. Go to the hospital or an urgent care, call an ambulance, or drive yourself to seek medical attention.
Your employer should report the injury to the state as well as to the insurance carrier. You should then be able to make a claim for compensation, so that you can get the coverage benefits listed above. That way, you can focus on your recovery and still have an income to fall back on.