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Worker's Comp Update

WORKERS' COMP UPDATE

Workers' compensation insurance is intended to protect workers who are injured while on the job. A recent decision from the state supreme court shows just how far-reaching this protection can be.

The case involved a worker who was injured on the job. He made a claim for workers' compensation benefits, and, because his injuries were serious, he was awarded temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. His injuries prevented him from working at all some of the time and restricted him to light-duty work at other times.

After two years on TTD, the worker was fired for reasons unrelated to his injuries. After he was fired, his employer refused to keep paying TTD benefits. The worker sued, arguing that the fact that he had been fired should have no effect on his right to receive workers' compensation benefits. The Illinois Supreme Court agreed.

In reaching this decision, the supreme court noted that the law allowed an injured worker to collect TTD benefits until his or her condition had stabilized and improved as much as it would. The court then rejected the opinion of the lower court, which had held that the right to receive TTD benefits could be lost if the worker was terminated because of something he had voluntarily done.

The supreme court held that, even though the worker had been fired, the workers' compensation law contained no provision allowing TTD benefits to be denied if the injured worker was still receiving treatment. Because the "fundamental purpose" of the law is to protect injured workers, any rule that would allow employers to avoid this obligation by firing an injured worker would not be a good one.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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