In Illinois, if you are injured in a work accident, you can check and see if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance by going to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (“Commission”) website here. If you do find out that your employer does not have insurance, the law may allow you to sue your employer directly in court on a negligence case and ask for damages such as pain and suffering.
The first question I normally hear a potential client ask me during the initial interview process is if I make a workers’ compensation claim can my employer fire me? The answer is always yes, your employer can fire you. However, then my question for the potential client is, do you think your employer terminated you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or because you asserted some right connected to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act? This may provide you with the means to sue your employer in court for what is commonly known as a retaliatory discharge action.
This post is written as an introduction to a person’s basic rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (the “Act”). The State of Illinois has also enacted connected legislation referred to as the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act, which has many overlapping features but deals mainly with workplace exposure to occupational diseases or hearing loss that may occur as a result of job activities. This post will focus on examining the core benefits that an injured worker may be able to receive under the Act’s protections.