Exclusivity Provisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

As a trade-off for automatic, fixed payment of Workers’ Compensation benefits without regard to fault, the Workers’ Compensation Act is the “exclusive remedy” against an employer or its’ insured for compensable work-related injuries. Sharp v. Gallagher, 447 N.E.2d 786 (1983). The “exclusive remedy” provisions mean that employees will be deprived of the right to sue their employers in a state court. It also usually bars an employee from suing any co-employee that injured the employee.

In Illinois, this section is located at 820 ILCS 305/5, which states:

No common law or statutory right to recover damages from the employer… or the agents or employees [of the employer] for injury or death sustained by any employee while engaged in the line of his duty as such employee, other than the compensation herein provided, is available to any employee who is covered by the provisions of this Act (except for illegally employed minors/legal representatives of such minors, can file rejection of these rights if done timely, which is usually about 6 months after the date of injury/death by filing a document with the Commission. Even if not rejected, the Commission must approve a waiver of rejection before any payments are made). 820 ILCS 305/5(a)

Similarly, §11 states:

The compensation herein provided, together with the provisions of this Act, shall be the measure of the responsibility of any employer engaged in any of the enterprises or businesses enumerated in Section 3 of this Act, or of any employer who is not engaged in any such enterprises or businesses, but who has elected to provide and pay compensation for accidental injuries sustained by any employee arising out of and in the course of the employment according to the provisions of this Act, and whose election to continue under this Act, has not been nullified by any action of his employees as provided for in this Act.

If you, or a loved one, has been injured at work, then you need information about your rights. At Shunneson Law Office, I am devoted to demanding an insurance company cover your injuries following accidents. Call (847) 693-9120 for more information or contact us to schedule a consultation. Located in Lake County, Illinois, with meeting locations throughout Chicago, we have the ability to meet with you at any convenient Chicagoland location from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. However, evening and weekend appointments are available upon request by calling 847.693.9120.

-Drake Shunneson (copyright 2012)

NOTICE: The materials provided are for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as legal advice. It may also be viewed as advertising material. You should contact us directly, or your attorney, to obtain advice to any issue or problems. This article, by itself, does not create an attorney-client relationship and the opinions are those of the individual author and do not reflect the opinions of the Law Office or any other individual, attorney, entity or individual. Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net While the author has utilized his experience and knowledge of workers compensation law in writing this article, as well as many articles, books, statutes, regulatory rules, treatises, and internet sources, some of the ideas and material for this article were obtained from the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Illinois Workers’ Compensation Practice Guide (2011), which deserves special recognition.