There is a general rule that you can’t sue your employer for negligence if you are injured on the job. That rule was what created the whole workers’ compensation system in Illinois way back when. As far as I know, that’s how it is in every state. The trade off is that you don’t have to prove fault when you get hurt at work either. This is called the exclusive remedy provision which is fancy legal talk for you can’t sue if you get hurt on the job.
This law hasn’t changed, but there is one exception that does allow you to sue your employer if you are injured while working. It’s rare, but important enough that it’s worth mentioning.
If you are driving for work, or otherwise hurt from someone else’s negligence, and get into an accident, you have a potential lawsuit against the person who hit you. So if you are a UPS truck driver and you get sideswiped by a car and hurt your back, you can sue the driver of that car.
In car accident cases in Illinois, when an at fault party doesn’t have insurance, you can make a claim against your uninsured motorist policy (UIM). If you are driving for UPS, you’d have to technically sue UPS because they are self insured. So you are suing them to get the benefits of the UIM policy.
What you aren’t doing is suing your employer for negligence. You are suing to get your rights allowed under Illinois personal injury law. In some cases, a PI lawsuit can be worth more than a work comp claim, especially if you are seriously injured. UIM policies exist to compensate you if the at fault person doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance. The fact that your employer is paying that bill doesn’t mean a thing.
So like I said, it’s a rather rare situation, but car accidents do happen on the job. If the other party has bad insurance or no insurance, you can look to your employer to fill in the gap. Even if you have to sue them to make it happen.
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