At Lipkin & Apter, our workers compensation attorneys have helped hundreds of clients, throughout the state of Illinois, obtain compensation for injuries sustained on the job or as a result of their work. When a workers' compensation claim arises, the injured employee has the burden to show that their injury arose out of the activities of their employment. Generally, if the employee was participating in an activity related to their employment when injured, workers compensation benefits are available. These benefits include customary and reasonable medical treatment, Temporary Total Disability, and Permanent Partial compensation, are available.
While a welder, for example, may not be entitled to workers compensation benefits if he falls while walking at work for no specific reason, he would be entitled to workers compensation benefits if, at the time of the fall, he was carrying job-related equipment that obscured his view of where he was walking.
For further explanation, watch our video to learn the basic process of a workers' compensation claim from attorney Mitchell Lipkin.
Work Accident May Only Contribute to Injury
A work accident need be only a contributing cause of the injury or need for medical treatment in order for the employee to receive workers compensation benefits. The Illinois Workers Compensation Act provides that the work accident need not be the only cause or even the principal cause of the injury in order for the employee to qualify for workers comp benefits. An employee who has a work-related accident and injures a previously injured or weakened part of the body is entitled to workers compensation benefits. Further, if a pre-existing physical condition is aggravated as a result of a work-related accident, the injured employee is entitled to workman's comp benefits.
In Illinois, when an employee with a preexisting condition is injured in the course of his employment, questions may arise about the onset of the injury and the resulting disability. The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission must decide whether there was an accidental injury which arose out of the employment (benefits due), whether the accidental injury aggravated or accelerated the preexisting condition (benefits due) or whether the preexisting condition alone was the cause of the injury (no benefits due). Generally, these will be factual questions to be resolved during the workman's comp case or at trial. If there is an adequate basis for finding that a work-related activity aggravated or accelerated a preexisting condition, and, thereby, caused the disability, the award of compensation must be confirmed.
Sisbro, Inc. v. Industrial Commission, 797 N.E. 2d 665, 207 Ill.2d 193 (2003).