Illinois Court of Appeal Discusses Dismissal of Civil Claim Involving Injured Worker

If you were hurt at work, there is a chance that you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In some situations, you may also have a personal injury claim against the entity responsible for your damages. Knowing which route to pursue and the best way to protect your legal rights can be overwhelming. Many people who are injured at work are preoccupied with healing their injuries and dealing with the financial impact that comes with it. If you are curious about pursuing workers’ compensation benefits or damages in a Chicago personal injury claim, you can speak with someone at Therman Law Offices about your legal options and how to pursue them.

In a recent case, the Illinois Court of Appeal discussed a situation in which a worker was injured while on the job. The defendant in the case was the injured worker’s employer. The worker was employed by a subsidiary of the employer that provided concrete services. The employer had a workers’ compensation insurance policy that provided coverage for its employees as well as employees of the concrete company. The employer entered into a contract with a property owner to perform construction at the site. The plaintiff hurt this back while working on the construction project. He filed a workers’ compensation claim and received $76,000 to cover his medical bills as well as other expenses.

Then, the plaintiff filed a claim against his employer in civil court seeking additional damages and claiming that the employer was liable for his injuries. The employer filed a motion to dismiss the claim on the basis that it was barred. Illinois law states that a worker’s sole remedy for compensation following an on-the-job injury is to pursue benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. The lower court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the complaint.

The plaintiff appealed, arguing that his employer was not immune from a lawsuit under the exclusivity rule because he was an employee of the concrete company and not the employer specifically. The appellate court rejected this reasoning on the basis that the employer took out a workers’ compensation policy for the benefit of all workers under its umbrella. Based on this, the appellate court upheld the lower court’s dismissal of the worker’s civil claim against the employer. Allowing the employee to receive workers’ compensation benefits through the employer’s insurance policy while also receiving a judgment through a civil claim would result in a double recovery.

The legal system can be confusing. From knowing where to file your claim to figuring out how much compensation you should be getting, it can be hard to know whether you are taking the right steps. One way to figure out your legal options is to work with a work injury lawyer. At Therman Law Offices, we offer a free consultation so that you can ask questions about your situation and learn more about whether you are entitled to compensation. Call us now at 773-545-8849 or contact us online to get started. The consultation is free and confidential, so you have nothing to lose by calling.

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