In our last post, we began looking at the question of whether an injured worker in Illinois has any other avenues of recovery outside the workers’ compensation system. As we noted, workers’ compensation is generally the only form of compensation available to an injured worker in Illinois, but there are certain exceptions.
In addition to the potential exceptions we’ve already mentioned, there is also the possibility of obtaining recovery when losses resulting from a workplace injury are deemed not compensable. Under state law, only certain types of losses resulting from a workplace injury are compensable. These include medical bills, as well as temporary or permanent, total or partial disability. Certain claims that are determined to be “time-barred” or which fall outside the filing deadline can sometimes be pursued outside the workers’ compensation system.
Here, we are specifically talking about claims which have been time-barred before an injured worker is in a position to even file a claim. Under Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act, there are certain limitations employers are bound by in seeking compensation. In some cases, an injured worker may not realize they have been injured on the job until years after the fact when the possibility of seeking workers’ compensation is gone. In such situations, an injured employee’s claim is considered not compensable and the employee is thus able to seek recovery outside the workers’ compensation system.
In pursuing a claim outside the worker’s compensation system, workers are likely to receive pushback from their employers, and working with knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel is important to ensure one’s rights are protected.