Most construction workers in Illinois are covered under the state’s no fault workers’ compensation insurance program ((820 ILCS 305/) Workers’ Compensation Act). This means that injured construction workers are entitled to benefits, regardless of whether or not their employer was responsible for causing their accident.
This raises an important question: What does workers’ compensation insurance actually cover in Illinois? At Tuite Law, our Illinois construction accident lawyer has deep experience handling the full range of work injury claims. Here, we provide an overview of the benefits that are available to injured construction workers through a workers’ compensation claim.
Illinois Workers’ Compensation Covers Medical Costs and Lost Wages
To start, workers’ compensation offers coverage for the full extent of an injured employee’s medical costs. Indeed, all medical costs that are related to a construction accident and that are deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’ will be covered. Beyond emergency medical care and other hospital bills, compensation should also be made available for medication, medical equipment, and physical rehabilitation.
In Illinois, workers’ compensation also covers lost income. If you were injured while working in the construction industry, you are generally entitled to compensation for the time you are forced to miss on the job. Wage loss compensation is provided on a tax-free basis, and it is awarded at two-thirds of an injured worker’s average weekly wage. Though, there is a maximum weekly benefit.
Finally, construction workers who suffered especially severe injuries may be entitled to additional benefits. If you were hurt in a construction accident and you have a permanent physical impairment or if your loved one was killed in a construction accident, you should speak to an experienced Illinois construction accident lawyer immediately. You have important legal rights.
What Workers’ Compensation Does Not Cover
In Illinois, workers’ compensation insurance does not provide benefits for certain noneconomic damages, including the victim’s pain and suffering. Unfortunately, this means that injured workers who suffered considerable pain related to their injury may not be able to get access to compensation for this specific loss.
However, there may be another path to compensation. Construction workers who suffered a severe injury should always consult with a personal injury lawyer who can help them explore every possible avenue for financial recovery.
Construction Accident Victims May Have Other Legal Options Available
Workers’ compensation benefits are critically important. All injured workers should be able to get access to the full benefits owed to them through the Illinois workers’ compensation program. In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, some injured workers may also be eligible to recover financial compensation from another party. This is done through filing a personal injury lawsuit. To be clear, you generally cannot file a personal injury claim against your employer. Workers’ compensation is your exclusive remedy in that regard.
That being said, if any entity other than your employer — a property owner, a developer, another contractor or subcontractor, or manufacturer — caused your construction accident as a result of their negligent conduct, you can hold them responsible through a third party liability claim. Through this type of claim, you can seek compensation for the full value of your losses, including pain and suffering.