After suffering a work-related injury, it is not uncommon for employees to be unable or unwilling to return to their prior duties as a result of physical limitations issued by medical providers, due to a deteriorated relationship with an employer, or for some other reasons such as a better opportunity elsewhere. In these circumstances, we frequently get questions from employees who are contemplating quitting a job but are afraid that it will result in an end to his or her pending case filled under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. Does quitting a job mean that the workers’ compensation case will be over? Keep reading to learn more about this complicated topic, and what top Chicago injury lawyer, Brent Eames, has to say about whether you can get fired as a result of filing a claim for workers’ compensation.
Although quitting a job will have an effect on the pending Workers’ Compensation Case, it does not necessarily end it.
The purpose of the Illinois Workers Compensation Act is to protect employees who sustain injuries which arise out of and occur in the course of their employment. If such injuries happen, the employee is entitled to payment of his or her reasonable and related medical expenses, payment of temporary total disability benefits (TTD), permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits to compensate the injured employee for permanent physical impairment or disfigurement, or possible vocational rehabilitation and maintenance benefits if an employee can no longer work in the trade where he or she worked prior to the injury.
So what effect does quitting the job have on my Workers’ Compensation benefits?
If an employee ultimately decides to quit the job while the Workers’ Compensation case is still pending, the employer should still be required to continue to pay for the injured employees reasonable and related medical treatment. However, quitting the job will potentially have an impact on payment of temporary total disability benefits. TTD benefits are paid if the employee is injured at work and his or her medical treating provider issued a restriction that the employer cannot accommodate. If the employee voluntarily quits his or her job, most certainly the employer will claim that the TTD benefits should not be paid, because the employer had a position within the restrictions issued by the injured worker’s medical providers, but the worker voluntarily decided not to take the position and quit. Thus, often times, quitting a job can mean an end to ongoing TTD benefits.
A similar claim can be made by the employer pertaining to any permanent disability benefits. The purpose of the Workers’ Compensation Act is to compensate an injured employee for a loss of future earning capacity due to permanent impairment or disfigurement suffered as a result of the work accident. If an employee voluntarily quits, the employer most likely will claim that the employer had a permanent position for the injured employee which the employee declined. Thus, the employer would not be required to compensate the employee for the loss of future earning capacity, because the employer would be free to argue that there is no loss of future earning capacity. Although this would not eliminate a recovery based upon permanent partial disability benefits, it could mean the settlement or award will be less than it otherwise would have been had the employee not quit.
Although an employee is free to quit his or her job while the Workers’ Compensation Claim is still pending, the employee must seriously consider the effect it will have on their case. Often times, we recommend that our clients at least wait until his or her medical providers have released them from medical care before resigning or quitting the position. Every case is different, and you should contact an experienced and top work comp attorney in Chicago at Eames Law Group, Ltd. to discuss the specific facts of your case.
Eames Law Group, Ltd. never stops fighting for our clients, and we will aggressively push cases to trial in order to obtain justice when insurance companies attempt to trample on the rights of our clients. If an insurance company has denied your work comp claim or refused to pay work comp benefits, you owe it to yourself to contact one of the best work comp attorneys in Chicago, Brent Eames, to discuss your rights. If you have been injured, you should immediately contact Brent Eames for a free consultation to discuss your options.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Eames Law Group, Ltd.