We receive many calls from injured workers who are concerned that they cannot receive any workers’ compensation benefits if they caused or contributed to their own injuries due to a mistake they made during work. If an injured worker caused their own injury due to their own negligence or mistake, does that mean that they are just out of luck when it comes to receiving workers’ compensation benefits? The answer may surprise you. Keep reading to learn what one of Chicago’s best workers’ compensation lawyers, Brent Eames, has to say about these claims.
Unlike personal injury cases where the contributory negligence of the injured party can reduce or even prevent the recovery, with a few exceptions, the fault of the injured worker is not taken into consideration when a claim for benefits is filed under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. That means that when a determination is being made whether to award Workers’ Compensation benefits to the injured employee, even if the employee somehow caused the accident in which he or she got injured, the benefits can still be awarded as long as the accident arose out of and in the course of the worker’s employment. However, if the actions of the injured employee are proven to be intentional or grossly negligent, that could serve to bar a workers’ compensation recovery.
The “no-fault” principle is also applicable to the actions of the employer and coworkers. Thus, even if the actions of the employer or coworkers led to the injuries of the employee, the injured employee cannot file a lawsuit against the employer or his or her coworkers. Rather, with few exceptions, the only remedy available to the injured employee would be to file for benefits under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. This is generally known as the exclusive remedy provision of the Act.
Obtaining compensation under the Workers’ Compensation’s “no-fault” system should be easier than in personal injury cases, because the injured employee does not have to prove who caused the accident. At the same time, the benefits available under the Workers’ Compensation Act are limited to the payment of reasonable and related medical expenses, temporary total disability benefits, and an appropriate award for permanency. Whereas in personal injury cases, compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of normal life are also available.
Have you been injured at work and want to discuss your rights and legal options? Please contact our experienced attorneys who have been rated as among the best work comp attorneys in Chicago 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.