Heyl Royster

Workers' Compensation

Tackling the increasingly complex legal and economic issues of workers' compensation.

Heyl Royster has a long tradition of helping businesses and insurers handle workers' compensation claims aggressively but fairly. In the past, many employers perceived workers' compensation as just another cost of doing business, but in recent years, that perspective has changed as workers' compensation costs have escalated. In some states, increased benefits, more frequent penalty awards, and an employee-friendly Workers' Compensation Commission have contributed to cost increases. At the same time, legal and economic issues in workers' compensation cases have become more complex. An early analysis of exposure, a realistic understanding of the potential for a favorable defense, an aggressive plan for case resolution even when the claim is compensable, and strategic trial tactics are crucial to our success.

Our reputation for managing claims aggressively and to the conclusion that they are compensable and need to be paid often gives us an edge with arbitrators, administrative law judges, and commissioners when we appear before them for trial. Our appearance at a Commission hearing will usually alert the arbitrator or the administrative law judge that there may be a substantial problem with a claimant's case. We are highly respected for our experience and integrity. In addition to regularly appearing at docket and review locations, we counsel clients in related employment matters. Our clients often ask us to help them design and implement their desired employment business model.

We literally wrote the book on Workers' Compensation practice in Illinois – Our Partners, Kevin Luther and Bruce Bonds, authored "Illinois Workers' Compensation Law" published by Thomson Reuters (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2021). Our Workers' Compensation attorneys closely follow trends and developments both at the Workers' Compensation Commissions and in state legislatures.



  • Claims of permanent total disability and/or wage differentials
  • Claims with multiple respondents
  • Complex claims
  • Death claims
  • Disputes for accident and causation
  • Fraud referrals to the Illinois Department of Insurance
  • Illinois Workers’ Compensation review and appeals
  • Independent contractor issues
  • Medicare Set-Aside issues
  • Psychological trauma claims



  • College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce Employment Law Committee
  • Illinois Self-Insureds Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Technical advisers to the Joint Employers during the negotiations that culminated in the 2005 amendments to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act
  • University of Illinois College of Law Adjunct Faculty



If your business, organization, or you as an individual need premier defense services from an industry-leading workers' compensation defense firm, the dedicated legal minds at Heyl Royster are ready to provide you with the legal advice and legal services that you deserve. From complex claims to disputes, causation, and more, our workers' compensation attorneys are experienced litigators ready to come to your defense.

Heyl Royster Is Ready To Defend You

Contact One Of Our Skilled Attorneys Today!




Koch v. Edge Elevator (1999) – The petitioner in this workers’ compensation case worked with his son erecting pole buildings for farmers and rural businesses. Edge Elevator hired the petitioner to frame and erect a pole building on its premises. During construction the petitioner sustained a severe back injury that required surgery and an inability on his part to return to work. The petitioner claimed that he was not an independent contractor of Edge Elevator, but was under Edge Elevator’s control so that it was responsible for the injury under the worker’s compensation act. The arbitrator found in favor of the petitioner and issued an award worth over $250,000. The appellate court, workers’ compensation division, ultimately reversed the decision and agreed with Edge Elevator that the facts showed that the petitioner was an independent contractor and not under Edge Elevator’s control. The award was vacated and the claim denied.

Dodson v. Industrial Commission, 308 Ill. App. 3d 572, 720 N.E.2d 275 (5th Dist. 1999) – Issue of whether employee's fall on wet grass slope while walking to her car after work arose out of her employment.

Ealy v. Industrial Commission, 189 Ill. App. 3d 76, 544 N.E.2d 1159 (4th Dist. 1989) – Compensability of slip and fall outside of employer's premises.

Pryor v. Industrial Commission, 266 Ill. App. 3d 497, 640 N.E.2d 364 (5th Dist. 1994) – Accident occurring on personal farm owned by president of corporation is not compensable.

Radosevich v. Industrial Comm’n, 367 Ill. App. 3d 769, 856 N.E.2d 1 (4th Dist. 2006) – Section 19(i) interest runs from date of award; Section 2-1303 interest commences only when circuit court enters judgment on award under Section 19(g).

Bernardoni v. Industrial Comm’n, 362 Ill. App. 3d 582, 840 N.E.2d 300 (3d Dist. 2005) – Frye standard for evaluating admissibility of expert or scientific evidence applies to workers' compensation proceeding; Illinois does not recognize claims for multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

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