1. An employer/employee relationship must exist between the parties.
2. An issue regarding an employer/employee relationship usually arises when the employer claims the employee was an independent contractor.
3. Factors such as the right to control the work, the method of payment, the right to discharge, the skill required to perform the work, and whether the employer furnished the tools, materials, or equipment will be considered.
4. The injured worker may not sue his employer in Circuit Court; he can only make a claim pursuant to the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act.
5. In an automobile accident lawsuit, the injured party can recover damages above and beyond what is provided in the Act, which include past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, loss of normal life, risk of future injuries, 100% of all lost wages and benefits, property damage, and all loss of use of his vehicle.
6. The injured worker does not have to prove another person or entity was at fault; only that his injury arose out of and was in the course of his employment.
7. Anyone who undertakes to do any work is liable to pay worker’s compensation benefits, not only to his own employees but also the employees of sub-contractors which he directly or indirectly engages to do any of the work.
8. If you are an injured worker and your employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance and there was a general contractor on the job, you could file an application for adjustment of claim against your employer and also the general contractor who becomes the “statutory” employer.
Notice to the Employer
9. The Act requires the injured employee to give the employer notice of the injury within 45 days of the work injury.
10. The Act also requires the employee to file an application for adjustment of claim within 3 years of the date of the accident or within 2 years from the last payment of benefits made by the worker’s compensation insurance carrier.
Arising Out of
11. For a work injury to be compensable under the Act, the employment must expose the worker to a greater risk than faced by the general public.
12. For example: if the employee fell down a flight of stairs and there was no defect in the flight of stairs, that injury generally would not be compensable under the Act because the injured worker was not exposed to a risk that was greater than to the general public.
13. But, if the employee was walking down the steps while carrying a large box for the employer while in a hurry to bring the box to another co-worker to facilitate production and fell down the stairs, this generally would be sufficient to qualify for benefits under the Act.
Fights at Work
14. A fight between co-workers at work regarding the performance of work is compensable under the Act. But, the injured worker cannot obtain benefits if he was the “aggressor” in the fight.
15. If the fight or altercation does not involve the work of the employer and is purely personal, compensation for such injuries will be denied.
16. An injury to an employee while playing on the company’s softball team may qualify for worker’s compensation benefits under the Act, but each case if fact specific.
17. An injury resulting at a company picnic may or may not be compensable under the Act, depending on the facts of the case. If the employer required the employee’s attendance at the company picnic and paid the employee to attend the company picnic, or his attendance at the company picnic was mandatory, then that injury would qualify for benefits under the Act.
18. An employee who was intoxicated and becomes injured at work generally will qualify for benefits under the Act, except when the employer can show that the intoxication of the employee was so severe that the employee was unable to perform his job.
Parking Lot Cases
19. An employee who was injured while on his way to work in the parking lot generally will be covered under the Act if the employer made the employee park at a specific spot or section of the parking lot.
To get more information about your injuries and benefits under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, call the Giacoletto Law Firm at 618-346-8841 or toll free at 888-346-8841 to speak today with an experienced Illinois attorney centrally located in Collinsville.