Working at construction sites or operating dangerous machinery increases the chance of suffering serious, work-related injuries. Injured individuals face severe and permanent disabilities, rising healthcare costs, and lost wages from losing time at work.
At Cervantes & Associates, our experienced attorneys obtain maximum recovery for our clients' injuries. Both Illinois and Missouri's workers' compensation laws require employers provide workers' compensation benefits and prohibit an employee from suing the employer if the employer provides such benefits. However, employees may still sue under certain circumstances. For example, employees can still file third party claims and claims against employers that lack workers' compensation insurance.
Our attorneys also have experience obtaining Social Security disability benefits for injured clients. To learn more about these benefits, please see the Social Security Disability Insurance page.
Third party suits
Employees work with different types of machinery and equipment at construction projects, and serious injuries often result. Employees who suffer these kinds of injuries may be able to sue the manufacturer, seller, or distributor of the defective equipment, even when the employer is protected from liability under Illinois and Missouri's workers' compensation laws.
Under Illinois's Workers' Compensation Act, Section 5(b), employees can sue third parties who are responsible for the employee's injuries. However, employees may have to repay their employers for any workers' compensation benefits they received after recovering from the third party. Missouri has a similar rule. Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 287.150, allows employers to recover for the workers' compensation benefits the employee received or was entitled to receive from the employer, if the employee was able to recover from the third party.
Employers who do not carry workers' compensation insurance:
Both Illinois and Missouri law mandate that employers must maintain workers' compensation insurance. Employers who fail to do so lose the protections afforded under both states' workers' compensation laws and risk facing lawsuits from injured employees.
According to Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 287.120, employers who are subject to Missouri's Workers' Compensation Laws are responsible for compensating employees for their losses, but in exchange, are released from liability. Likewise, in Illinois, employers lose the protections provided under the workers' compensation laws if they fail to provide employees insurance benefits, and thus can be sued in civil court by employees.
Workers' compensation laws can be confusing and complex. An experienced workers' compensation lawyer can examine the facts of your case and determine if any of the exceptions to the general rules apply. For example, some states permit suits against employers for intentional torts, even when the employer has workers' compensation insurance.
Sudden and severe injuries can occur at factories, construction sites, and while operating machinery. If you have suffered construction-related injuries, seek the assistance of experienced legal counsel so that you may be fully advised of your rights and options. For experienced personal injury and workers' compensation attorneys, contact Cervantes & Associates today.