Residents of Champaign probably tend to think of workers’ compensation as a benefit to be collected in the event of an accident like an explosion, a fire or some other catastrophic set of circumstances. While it is true that a worker can collect workers’ comp if they are injured while working due to an isolated accident, it isn’t always newsworthy events that lead to the need for coverage.
Most often, workers in need of coverage have suffered repetitive trauma. While workers that sit at a desk all day are less likely be injured in an accident in the course of their work, they are susceptible to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. Ironically, a former Illinois workers’ compensation arbitrator found herself in need of workers’ compensation when she developed carpal tunnel syndrome from the excessive amount of typing her position demanded of her.
A doctor backed the woman’s claim and a cash settlement was reached, but now the state is looking to reverse the payment. Since this woman resigned from her position because she was no longer able to perform her duties due to the injury, she needs these benefits. She will have to defend her rights to the benefits awarded.
This case shows that in Illinois, while the laws appear to favor the employee, in practice the system can favor the employer. It is for this reason that an injured worker may need to seek legal counsel to defend their rights to the workers’ compensation that they need.
Source: UPI.com, “Ill. Challenges workers’ comp claim,” Aug. 8, 2012
- If an Illinois worker has been injured on the job, either from an accident or repetitive trauma, they can find more information about their options on our Champaign workers compensation page