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When Can an Injured Employee Bypass Workers’ Compensation System to File Lawsuit?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Workers who are injured on the job are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Illinois workers’ compensation benefits are based on the employee’s salary and, depending on the extent of the employee’s injuries, may include:

  • Medical expenses, including doctor visits, follow-up visits, physical therapy, and prescription medications.
  • Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits equal to two-thirds of your average gross weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum payment amount, if you are unable to work while recovering.
  • Permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits based on a percentage of your pre-injury wage, up to a weekly maximum payment amount.
  • In some cases, vocational rehabilitation benefits such on-the-job training, schooling, or job placement assistance.

Personal injury damages, on the other hand, may allow an injured person to recover compensation for the following expenses and damages:

• Medical bills• Pain and suffering
• Lost income• Disfigurement
• Future medical bills and care• Loss of consortium

Because workers’ compensation settlements are limited by Illinois law, injured workers often wonder if they can bypass the workers’ compensation system and sue their employer in a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, injured workers are prohibited from suing an employer for a workplace injury regardless of whether the employer was negligent.

There are some circumstances in which an injured employee may be able to bypass the workers’ compensation system and file a personal injury lawsuit, however. For instance, if the employer’s conduct went beyond negligence and amounted to reckless or intentional misconduct, the employee may be able to bypass the workers’ compensation system. Similarly, if the employer failed to maintain adequate workers’ compensation insurance, the injured worker may be able to bypass the workers’ compensation system and initial legal action.

Even if the injured worker cannot bypass the workers’ compensation to sue his or her employee, the employee may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against any negligent third-party responsible for the accident. Third-party actions can apply to a number of situations, but they commonly arise in the following accidents:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Construction Worker Accidents
  • Factory Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Slip and Fall Accidents

At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago workplace accident attorneys have considerable experience representing injured employees with both their workers’ compensation claims and any other third-party actions in order to get the maximum recovery possible. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, do not hesitate to contact us at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys.

Categories: Personal Injury