Sometimes work-related injuries can fall under the laws of multiple states. For instance, if you are employed by an Illinois business but are injured while working in another state, you could bring your case under either of those states’ workers’ compensation laws.
Whenever something like this occurs, it helps to know how Illinois compares to other states in terms of its workers’ compensation benefits.
Perks of Illinois Workers’ Compensation
The truth is Illinois is often much more generous to workers than other states. Some of the perks of Illinois workers’ compensation law include the following.
Choice of Doctors
Some states allow employers to choose your doctor for you when it comes to covering work injuries. While Illinois has something similar by allowing for Preferred Provider Programs, you can still choose your own doctor. By law, you can cover up to two doctors plus any chains of referrals from each. In cases where your employer has a preferred provider network, opting out of that program counts as one of your two choices, which still leaves you with one doctor of your choosing.
High Disability Caps
Many states cap the weekly benefits you’d get from workers’ comp disability, and sometimes, those caps are limited to only a few hundred dollars. Illinois has a much higher cap that’s based on average wages in the state, with a maximum weekly benefit of over $1400.
Short Waiting Periods
Often, you might have to wait several days to a few months to get certain benefits. Illinois has a short waiting period of three days before weekly benefits can be paid out, which is as short a waiting period as it gets.
No Total Benefits Caps
Finally, some states put caps on the total amount of compensation an employee can receive. Illinois has no such limit. The only cap is the maximum weekly benefit for a disability, and that’s adjusted to match wages.
Illinois Workers’ Comp Expenses
Illinois workers’ compensation law typically favors employees, but that doesn’t mean everything is guaranteed to go your way. That generosity typically costs employers, and that incentivizes them to try to minimize payouts. With Illinois being the most expensive state in the Midwest in terms of workers’ comp, there’s a good chance your employer will try to avoid paying for your work injuries.
The tactics take a number of forms, and they’ll typically involve either minimizing your injury or claiming it wasn’t related to your job duties. As such, it’s important for Illinois workers to be well-represented in the event that they are injured on the job.
The Need for a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have been injured on the job in Illinois or while working for an Illinois-based company, you can receive benefits according to the state’s laws. Doing so may require the representation of an attorney in order to make sure your employer pays you fairly.
A good attorney will put pressure on your employer and their insurance provider to move the process forward, advise you on the steps you should take, and represent your best interests during negotiations. It’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury to make sure everything is handled properly.