A caller to my office got injured at work and is the owner of the company and asked me point blank, “Do I have to sue myself?”
The answer is no because workers’ compensation claims aren’t a lawsuit just as filing a health insurance claim if you get sick isn’t a lawsuit.
It’s a felony in Illinois to not have work comp coverage on employees, but there is an exception which allows owners to opt out from covering themselves.
So in his case whether or not he can bring an Illinois workers’ compensation claim comes down to whether or not he’s covered under his own insurance policy.
A lot of business owners choose not to be covered to save some money. I do that, but I’m also in a low risk job when it comes to having an injury. If you are a laborer or in another line of work where many injuries occur, you’d probably be wise to have yourself covered. My caller was not covered and fell out of a window. His only real option is social security disability.
While it’s rare, I have seen cases for lawyers who own their law firms, but get injured at work. They are usually from car accidents while traveling to court or from a back injury due to lifting a heavy trial bag.
Bottom line is that if you are the owner, you can choose to insure yourself or not, but if you do get hurt you are treated like any other employee.
Questions about anything related to Illinois workers’ compensation? Call us any time at 312-346-5578 for a free consultation.