Illinois Workers' Compensation Law Basics
Many people embrace and celebrate workers' compensation in Illinois, without stopping to think about its history
. However, in order to truly understand and appreciate our workers' compensation laws it is important to learn about their roots.
Illinois was the second state in the nation to implement workers' compensation laws, which it did in 1912, following only Wisconsin. Before this time, employers were not required to compensate employees or their families if an employee was injured or killed due to an accident that occurred on the job. Before workers comp laws, it was possible for the employees or their families to sue the employers in civil lawsuits, but they were very expensive and rarely won.
Workers' compensation laws were created in order to solve two main problems- it was necessary for employees to have access to quick and fair compensation for injuries, and employers were requesting freedom from civil lawsuits that exposed them to pain and suffering. Each state put its own laws into effect with their own specific details and provided rights.
Illinois Workers' Compensation law was created by the state legislature and is continually changing. In general, the payment of workers' comp claims take place out of state supervision. Insurance companies are usually in charge of administering the benefits. The insurance companies rely on lawyers to defend claims. The petitioning employee also relies on a lawyer to negotiate settlements and represent them in court.
When it comes to workers' compensation, the key is to find balance between the rights of the employee and the "bottom line" of the employer. It is important to understand the basics of workers' compensation, no matter what your occupation may be. While the system is not quite flawless, it does effectively provide a no-fault system for payment of benefits to injured workers as well as giving workers important rights, such as being able to choose your own doctor. If you have any further questions about the details of Illinois' workers' compensation law
, contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney to
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