What if I make a claim against my employer for a workplace injury and I find out they don’t have insurance?
If you are injured in the workplace, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your lost wages and medical bills paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company as well as a lump sum settlement or Arbitration award at the conclusion of the case. It is required under Illinois law that employers have workers compensation insurance.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, they are still liable for your workers’ compensation benefits.
But what if your employer doesn’t have the means to pay your benefits? Not every employer has the economic resources to pay what the law requires of them. In this instance, as your lawyers, we have the ability to file a claim with the Illinois Workers Benefit Fund, which is a separate fund set up for those situations where an employee is injured and the employer does not have the proper workers’ compensation coverage at the time of the accident.
The process is that we make a claim and serve the Illinois treasurer’s office who manages that fund, and then bring your case before a judge to get an award of benefits for you from the Illinois Workers Benefit Fund.
Unfortunately, sometimes your recovery depends on the amount of money that the Illinois Workers Benefit Fund has that year. If there are a lot of claims and not enough money, you may only get a certain percentage of your overall award. It’s something that would depend on a case by case and year by year basis.
It is strongly recommended that you consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer if you are injured at work to make sure that your rights are protected and that you get all of the benefits you are entitled to.