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What is the difference between a workers' compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit?

Workers' compensation is a no fault system in which an employee who is injured on the job gives up her right to sue her employer in exchange for benefits provided under Illinois law. After filing an Application for Benefits with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, your case is assigned to an arbitrator who oversees any disputes that may arise between you and your employer.

Unlike other personal injury cases, such as automobile accidents or slip and falls, an injured employee does not need to show the employer was at fault for his or her injuries. Generally, injured workers only need to show their injuries occurred in the course of and arose out of some aspect of their employment. There is no requirement to prove the employer was negligent. On the other hand, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must show that another person's negligence caused her injuries.

Another difference between personal injury claims and workers' compensation is the type of compensation the injured individual can receive. In a personal injury suit, non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, disability, or loss of a normal life can be included in their claim. On the other hand, workers' compensation is limited to that person's disability and largely dependent on the wages earned to determine the value of a case.

Illinois workers' comp laws also require the employer to pay for the injured worker's medical expenses and time off due to an injury. These benefits provided under the law protect injured workers from financial difficulty if they remain off work due to an injury. Should any disputes arise between an injured employee and their employer, the arbitrator assigned to your case will hear and decide these issues.

In all, workers' compensation is designed to provide a quick and efficient means of ensuring an injured employee receives medical and payment benefits after an on the job injury. If you or a family member has any questions regarding a potential workers' compensation claim, please contact our offices for a free legal consultation.

The attorneys at Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid are committed to representing people who have been seriously injured and incur significant medical expenses as a result of work related injuries. Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continue to handle workers' compensation claims and all types of other personal injury cases in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Kendall Counties and all throughout the Chicagoland area.

  1. "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....
    -Jeff D.

  2. "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....
    - Dave

  3. "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.
    -Jennifer

  4. "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day... -Larry

  5. "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.
    - Tyler D.

  6. "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.
    - Karen K.

  7. "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends. -Dan H.

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1730 Park Street
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Naperville, IL 60563

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