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In order to be eligible to collect workers compensation benefits in Illinois, you must be an employee who has suffered an injury arising out of and in the course of your employment.. So the very first question is whether you are an employee. Although that sounds like a very easy question to answer, “employee" doesn’t really mean just anyone who works for someone else on a job. This can sometimes be a rather complicated question under illinois workers compensation law. It’s vital for your attorney to establish that you are in fact an employee in order to file a claim, collect workers comp benefits and be eligible for an award or monetary settlement.
A great number of questions must first be answered to help determine if various types of workers are considered to be employees and are in fact eligible for compensation such as police officers, firefighters, jurors, domestic help, registered alien workers, illegal workers, minors, corporate officers, volunteer workers, part time workers, job sharing workers, workers with multiple jobs, borrowed workers, loaned workers, and independent contractors. Each of these different types of worker presents particular questions when determining whether workers compensation benefits are available.
In addition to determining whether the worker is in fact an employee, the attorney must examine whether the particular injury or death arose out of and in the course of employment. It’s just not enough to be injured at work to qualify. There must be some causal connection between the employment and the risk that harm may result. A worker is not likely eligible for workers comp if he hurts his back tying his shoelace, just walking up stairs on the job or fighting with another employee on the job because these things don’t really have anything to do with the job. A workers comp attorney can help you understand if your injury qualifies.