Can I Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits If The Accident Was My Fault?
In Illinois, virtually all employers are required to have workers’ compensation. After a work-related accident occurs, an employer is required to compensate an employee for medical bills and lost wages. However, if you were injured while on the job, and the accident was your fault, can you still recover workers’ compensation benefits?
Workers’ Compensation Is a No-fault System
If you suffered an injury while at work and the accident was your fault, you might still be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits. The Illinois workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. All you need to prove to recover benefits is that you suffered an injury while on the job.
The workers’ compensation system was implemented to ensure that workers recovered fair compensation for injuries suffered at work while protecting employers from sudden liability. For this system to work as it is supposed to, the question of fault on the part of the employee must not exist. Also, you are not required to prove that your employer or co-worker did anything wrong that caused your injury to recover workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois.
Nevertheless, there are certain circumstances when an employee may be unable to recover workers’ compensation benefits. For instance, suppose your injury was self-inflicted, or you suffered your injury while committing a criminal offense. In either of these cases, you may not be able to recover compensation through a workers’ compensation claim.
Your Employer Can Still Defend Themselves
It is vital to note that while employers cannot contest workers’ compensation claims on the basis that an employee is to blame for their accident, they can, for example, argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. An employee can also doubt whether your injury is work-related.
However, employers are prohibited from retaliating against workers who file a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer is prohibited from harassing you, firing you, refusing to rehire you, or discriminating against you in any way after you’ve filed your workers’ compensation claim.
Can You Sue Your Employer if They Were at Fault?
Suppose your employer was at fault for your accident and not you. In such a case, can you sue your employer? The Illinois workers’ compensation system limits an injured worker’s ability to file a lawsuit against their employer. Even if your employer was grossly negligent by, for example, failing to repair a broken staircase that was known to have been broken for a long time, you must still seek compensation through the workers’ compensation system as long as your employer has workers’ compensation.
Again, if you suffered a work-related injury in Illinois, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits even if you are to blame for your accident. And if your employer is to blame for your accident, you basically cannot sue them unless they intentionally harmed you or don’t have workers’ compensation.
Contact Us for Legal Help
To help ensure you recover the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to after suffering a work-related injury, contact our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Law at (312)-780-0816.