Work Injury & Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation

It is important for you to know your rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law. The following has been prepared by the lawyers at Urban & Burt, Ltd. to provide you with answers to frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation laws and your rights for on-the-job injuries. If you are injured while at work, your case requires the skill of an attorney who is well-versed in workers’ compensation law. The attorneys at Urban & Burt, Ltd. do concentrate in workers’ compensation law, and can properly investigate the facts surrounding your injury and make certain that you receive fair treatment from your employer’s insurance company. The following is not intended as legal advice, but a guide for your reference to frequently asked questions. Please click on a question that may answer a concern that you may have.

Work Injury & Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Our society is literally built upon the efforts of skilled workers. The hard work of men and women is necessary to aid in the construction of our factories, efficiently build our roads, and keep the wheels of our economy moving forward.

Although these jobs are necessary, they can often times be dangerous as well. It is common for workers to be injured on the job, sometimes purely by accident, other times due to negligence on the part of the employer. Injuries and illnesses that are obtained on the job can put hard working people out of work for days, months and even for the rest of their life.

It is important that workers know their rights and what they are legally financially entitled to under the law. There are many expenses involved with being injured on the job and many of them can be long-term and cause hardship for the workers and their family.

Illinois Work Injuries

Work injuries can happen at any type of business, but of course, certain jobs are more dangerous than others. Some of the highest rates of injuries are jobs in the physical labor trades such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, and agriculture. Whenever a job involves heavy equipment, lifting, driving, or working with chemicals, there seems to be a higher incidence of injuries and illnesses. Common types of injuries are:

  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Bruises and contusions
  • Lacerations
  • Fractured bones
  • Multiple injuries
  • Crushing injuries
  • Amputations
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
  • Burns

When workers are injured in the course of their employment, the injuries impact both the individual and his or her family. Urban & Burt, Ltd. remains committed to seeing that every Chicago suburban and Chicago area work-injury case is fully investigated and that all parties responsible for the injury are pursued.

Experienced Work Injury Attorneys

Urban & Burt, Ltd. focuses on the handling of workers’ compensation injuries.

As an employee, if you are injured in the course of your employment, you are likely covered under workers compensation under the laws of Illinois. Though workers’ compensation traces its roots to the days when many more people were engaged in “high risk” trades where catastrophic injuries were commonplace, the workers’ compensation system remains in place today to protect men and women engaged in all lines of work, even those with very little injury risk.

Who’s Covered under Workers’ Compensation Law in Illinois?

Everyone who works for an employer is covered. Not only people who do manual labor, but even sedentary professions like a judge, lawyer or their support staff are covered under workers compensation if they are injured in the course of their employment. For example, if a secretary injures her back while moving boxes full of files, she can pursue a workers compensation case against my office for her medical treatment, time lost from work and resulting permanency related to the lingering impact of the injury. Permanency is a term used in workers compensation when referring to a permanent impairment that is caused by a work injury.

No-Fault Employer Responsibility for the Injuries Sustained by Their Employees on the Job

Unlike most types of personal injury cases that require an injured party to establish fault on the part of a wrongdoing party, you do not need to prove fault to pursue a workers compensation case. Similarly, an injured worker is likely limited in his or her recovery from the employer under the terms of the workers’ compensation act exclusively.

Benefits Afforded to Injured Workers in Illinois

In Illinois, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to assure the legal rights of injured employees are satisfied. The statutory rights the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act grants injured workers include:

  • Medical treatment
  • Time lost from work due to injuries
  • Permanency benefits for partial or total permanent disabilities
  • Vocational Training
  • Death Benefits

Workers that are injured, disabled or have a fatality while on the job are in most cases able to receive compensation for them and their families. However, many people do not know how the workers’ compensation law works and all the benefits they can receive. In Illinois, the weekly benefit maximums and minimums can change every year, so what was offered for the same injury a year ago may have changed. Without an expert on their side, workers may not get all that should be coming to them for their injury. Benefits amounts can differ depending on the wage and salary of the employee and on the type of injury so having legal assistance can help negotiate the best settlement.

How Much Is My Illinois Workers’ Compensation Case Worth?

Understandably so, after the immediate medical needs have been attended to, the attention of most injured workers then focuses on the value of their case. For workers ‘compensation cases in Illinois, “value” of the case is referred to as the “lump sum” settlement or award that is awarded to the injured worker upon his or her return to maximum medical improvement. Once an injured worker has recovered as far as he or she can from their work-related accident, Illinois law allows them to recover a lump sum settlement based upon the extent of their injury and how much money they were making at the time of their injury.

In Illinois, each part of the body is allocated a certain number of “weeks” where an injured worker can recover based upon the extent of his injury to a particular body part. Each injured employee has a responsibility to demonstrate their disability related to their particular injury to the portion of their body alleged.

So, for an employee who injured his arm and has only regained 50% functionality, they would be entitled to an award of 50% of an arm under Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law. When determining the specific dollar figure, the loss of the functionality is calculated against the workers average weekly wage to determine a lump sum award.

Obviously, the employee’s income at the time of his injury is a substantial factor in determining a case’s value. For example, a person making $1,000.00 per week would get twice as much for a lump sum settlement under Illinois work comp law compared to an employee making $500.00 per week. As a workers’ compensation attorney, they need to demonstrate the full extent of the impairment in order to recover the maximum amount for each employee.

For a worker who is so significantly injured that he or she cannot resume their pre-injury position, Illinois law affords the employee an opportunity to do vocational training and/or an award based upon his diminished earning capacity. In this respect, an employee earning $30.00 per hour at the time of his injury and capable of earning $20.00 per hour thereafter would be entitled to an award based upon the wage differential for the rest of his working life.

In the case of a young worker, they would be entitled to a wage differential award for the entire course of their working life, whether it is 10, 20, 30 or 40 years. The amount of a wage differential for an Illinois workers' compensation case can be substantial. However, like all aspects of workers' compensation law, it is up to the employee to prove the extent of his or her disability– or inability to resume their pre-injury position.

It is the responsibility of the injured worker to contact the insurance carrier to negotiate a lump sum payment. There is no obligation for insurance carriers to voluntarily pay you your workers' compensation benefits. Why not let our attorneys assist you in obtaining the maximum statutory benefits that you are entitled to pursuant to workers' compensation law? We can help you get the most for your injury to cover your losses.

If you are a union worker, skilled tradesperson, or just a hard-working person trying to make a living and suffered a serious injury on the job in Illinois, Urban & Burt, Ltd. is committed to maximizing the value of your case in the most expeditious manner possible. We have a team of experts that will investigate the individual circumstances surrounding your injury case and will do the research needed to prove your claim.

Similar to our other personal injury areas, we only charge an attorney’s fee when there is a recovery for you. Further, we offer flexible office hours and will even come to your home or hospital to make the process as easy as possible for you. If you or a loved one has had an on-the-job injury, call us to schedule an appointment and let us advise what rights you or your loved one have for compensation.


This document is a brief discussion of your rights under the Workers’ Compensation Law of the State of Illinois. There are many other aspects of the workers’ compensation law that are not covered on this page, such as: What happens if you can’t go back to work at all or if you go back but, because of the injury, you are making substantially less money? Or what happens if I need to be retrained to a new job? You have additional rights in these situations and the attorneys at Urban & Burt, Ltd. will be glad to discuss them with you at a personal conference.

As soon as you are hurt or find out that a disease arises from your job, you should contact Urban & Burt, Ltd. immediately so that we can protect your rights and maximize your benefits. As with most laws, there is interpretation and technicalities that only an experienced attorney who concentrates in that area of the law can know. To make sure that you are being treated fairly and properly, contact us so we may help you and your family obtain all the benefits to which you are entitled.

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