You may find yourself wondering, “can I sue my employer for a workplace injury?” You cannot generally sue your employer for workplace injuries. The Workers’ Compensation Act prohibits employees from suing their employers in most cases. In exchange for giving up their right to file personal injury lawsuits, workers can claim benefits through the no-fault workers’ compensation system.

Workers’ Compensation Laws in Illinois

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, Illinois workers are covered for work-related accidents and injuries that arise in the course of their employment. When injuries occur, workers are eligible to receive the following benefits:

  • Medical care and vocational rehabilitation – all workers
  • Temporary partial disability – workers on light duty for less compensation
  • Temporary total disability – off-duty workers recovering from an injury
  • Permanent partial disability – workers who can work, but sustain a permanent disability
  • Permanent total disability – workers who are rendered permanently unable to perform work
  • Death benefits for surviving family members

Illinois law requires employers with one or more employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Employers who don’t have insurance are subject to legal actions by a workers’ compensation attorney and civil fines of up to $500 per day.

Exceptions to the Exclusive Remedy Provision

The Supreme Court allows exceptions if the employee’s injury: (1) was not accidental; (2) did not arise out of employment; (3) did not occur in the course of employment; or (4) was not compensable under the Compensation Act. In such cases, you will need to provide information explaining the circumstances to your lawyer. What kind of information does a workers’ compensation lawyer need?

When Can You Sue Your Employer?

In Illinois, injured workers may sue an employer for injuries if there is not an employee/employer relationship, such as the case with most individual contractors. You may also be able to sue your employer if the employer intentionally caused you harm. If your employer does not maintain the required workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the company to recover compensation for your losses.

Why hire a workers’ compensation lawyer? If you file a lawsuit against your employer, you will be required to prove fault, or negligence, to win your claim.

If you need help with Illinois workers’ compensation benefits and claims, contact us at Smoler Law Office in Highland Park.