Archive for July, 2016

The History of Workers’ Compensation and Who It Covers

July 8th, 2016 at 11:57 am

workers, Chicago workers compensation attorneyIf you were injured on the job, your employer may be legally bound to provide workers’ compensation to replace your wages while you recover from your injury or illness. Many workers have questions regarding their eligibility, to whom the compensation can be awarded, the amount of payment they should receive, and other questions. In some cases, employers may attempt to deny an injured worker the compensation that they deserve. If you have been denied coverage, it is in your best interests to retain a skilled attorney who can discuss the options available to you..

History of Workers’ Compensation

During the industrial revolution of the 1800s, workplace injuries and fatalities skyrocketed. Factories were famously hazardous and workers were offered little to no protection during their long, dangerous hours on the job. In order to be compensated for an injury, an employee would have to sue their employer for negligence, which was simply impossible for most workers, as they had neither the time, money, or other resources necessary to find success in a courtroom in this manner. Additionally, the court usually sided with the employer in these cases.

It was not until the early 1900s that state-specific legislation was proposed to protect the rights of workers to be compensated for their injuries and fatalities. Wisconsin was the first state to provide a permanent workers’ compensation plan back in 1911. With higher standards and employers being held accountable, fatalities and injuries have fallen dramatically in the century since. However, 13 people are killed on the job every day, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover and Who Receives Benefits?

The injured employee can receive compensation to cover their medical and rehabilitation costs, which are often the highest in a serious workplace accident. Workers’ compensation can also cover lost wages, which can be awarded to a fatally injured worker’s dependents as well. These death benefits may also cover a worker who was killed in the very unlikely event of a terrorist attack. Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance, which means that an employee will be eligible for compensation regardless of fault. However, workers’ compensation usually takes away the employee’s right to sue their employer for negligence in the event that the injury or illness was the fault of their employer. There are exceptions to this rule, however. If the employee believes the injury or illness was caused by an intentional act, they may bring a lawsuit for an intentional tort. These intentional acts, that may end in physical or emotional damage, include:

  • Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Conversion;
  • Defamation;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Fraud;
  • Invasion of privacy;
  • Intentional causation of emotional trauma; and
  • Trespassing.

What Mandatory Workers’ Compensation Laws Exist in Illinois?

In Illinois, compulsory workers’ compensation begins at 40 hours per week for 13 weeks of the year. If you have been denied, or offered too little for you injuries or illness, it may be time to contact an attorney. Call a skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288.




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