“I was injured at work and it was my co-worker’s fault. How do I get workers’ comp? Do I have to sue my co-worker?”
If you were injured at work, and your injury was caused by your co-worker, you do NOT have to sue your co-worker, and in fact you do NOT have an option to sue your co-worker, under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
What you CAN do is apply for benefits by hiring an attorney and filing an Application for Adjustment of Claim at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
By Illinois law, if your work injury is caused by the negligence of another person, and that person works for the same employer as you, then you do NOT have an option to file a lawsuit against that person.
Example: If you have a very good friend and co-worker who causes your work injury, you can thankfully pursue your workers’ comp rights without legally going after your co-worker or causing problems for him or her (outside of any punishment / policies your employer may take against the person for making a mistake.)
BUT, THERE IS ONE EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE: If your work injury is caused by another person who works for a DIFFERENT employer than yours, then YES, you do have a possible case against that person. In that scenario, you could in fact pursue TWO different legal roads:
1.) A workers’ compensation claim
2.) A personal injury / third party lawsuit against the person who caused your injury or injuries, if they worked for a different employer than yours.
Whatever your situation may be, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney. One option for you for a free private talk is workers’ comp and personal injury attorney Peter D. Corti at phone # (312)-782-8372, or contact me using our contact form (click here to contact.) I will provide direct and honest advice, and it’s free, it’s private, and it costs you nothing.