Any job that you do in Illinois comes with some degree of personal risk. If you deliver groceries to others, you can get into a car crash or slip and fall at the grocery store. If you are an office worker, you could develop carpal tunnel syndrome or shock yourself with a frayed electrical wire.
Every employer in this state has an obligation to carry workers’ compensation insurance for the protection of their employees. You can make a claim against your employer’s policy for any medical care you require because of your injury. If you need a leave of absence because you got hurt, workers’ compensation limits the financial impact of your time off of work on your family.
Can you still get workers’ compensation benefits if it is obvious that you are the reason that you got hurt on the job?
Workers’ compensation provides no-fault coverage
With some kinds of insurance, fault or at least negligence has to play a role for a claimant to get benefits. To make a claim against motor vehicle liability insurance, for example, you have to show that the other driver was to blame for a crash. To bring a premises liability claim against a business, you have to show that they did something obviously negligent, like failing to mop up a spill for over an hour after it happened.
Some workers assume that similar rules apply to workers’ compensation claims, and this misconception prevents them from asking for benefits. Whether you drop something on your foot and broke a bone or burned yourself with a hot tool, you still have a right to ask for compensation even when you are the one who is technically to blame for your injury.
With the exception of the situation where you hurt yourself on purpose, you have the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits for any injury suffered on the job. You neither have to prove that your employer was to blame nor that you were without fault to get those benefits.
What if your employer tries to deny your claim?
Some workers with serious injuries find themselves in an untenable situation when their employers fight benefits claims and refuse to accommodate their injuries on the job. Fighting back against such misbehavior often requires professional support and an understanding of your rights.
Too many workers mistreated after job injuries just give up and move on to a new profession. Understanding when you can claim workers’ compensation benefits will help you minimize the lasting consequences of a job injury.