An on-the-job injury can be absolutely devastating. Whether a person is the primary financial provider or working to pay off a few extra bills, any interruption in income can lead to serious issues. Unfortunately, some Illinois workers may not even realize that their injuries are covered by workers' compensation benefits. Here are a few things that victims of workplace accidents may want to consider.
To qualify for benefits, victims must be employees and not working under a different status, such as an independent contractor. A victim must have also suffered the injury as a result of employment. In isolated examples, an employee who was carrying out work duties when he or she was injured may not qualify for benefits. This could be because the victim was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Qualifying for benefits is just one aspect of dealing with the workers' compensation system. For example, what happens to those benefits if a person returns to work? If he or she is able to start working again, but is earning less than before because of the injury, then it may be possible to continue receiving benefits. Returning to work at the same level of compensation or higher generally means that benefits are no longer available.
Many Illinois workers do not understand the workers' compensation benefits system or whether they are even covered in the event of an injury. This is understandable. Workers' compensation is much more complicated than most people realize, and getting the compensation that victims deserve for medical bills and lost wages is not always as straightforward as it should be. When applying for benefits or appealing a denial, an attorney may be able to provide more personalized guidance to injury victims.