Getting an injury or illness that prevents you from working can be scary. If your injury or illness is due to your job, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Not all jobs are covered under Workers’ Comp law, so consult with your employer to know what your rights are.
- Report every injury or illness that is due to your job. Don’t tell a co-worker. Tell someone in the HR department or a supervisor. Make sure it is documented.
- Seek medical treatment. If it is an emergency, go to the hospital. If it is a nonemergency, go to where your employer tells you to. Otherwise, your bill might not be covered under Workers’ Comp.
- Tell the doctor you were injured at work. This way the bills will go to the insurance company and not to you.
- Fill out your medical records thoroughly. Write down everything that happened and what exactly was injured. Don’t lie and don’t omit anything. Insurance companies have many ways of detecting fraud and you wouldn’t want your entire claim to be denied because you exaggerated something.
- Obtain your employer’s Workers’ Comp information, if you haven’t already. By law your employer must have a plan in place. Ask them to provide you with those details.
- In the state of Illinois, you have 45 days to notify your employer or a work-related injury or illness. 45 days. If you wait too long, insurance could deny your claim. You also have three years from the date of the injury to file your claim, however check with an attorney to make sure.
- Pre-existing injuries do not necessarily mean you cannot claim Workers’ Comp benefits. If an old injury is aggravated from a work injury, it would still fall under Workers’ Comp.
- Your employer cannot fire you just for filing a Workers’ Comp claim. This is illegal. Workers’ Comp exists to protect you in the event of an injury, so never be afraid to report an injury.
- Do what the doctor tells you to do. If you don’t, this can hurt your claim. Insurance companies monitor this to make sure you really are injured.
- Workers’ Comp benefits should cover 100% of medical bills, payment for a portion of lost wages, and payment for the permanency of your injury. In general with Workers’ Compensation benefits you give up the right to sue your employer for negligence.
Consulting with an attorney can help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming process with Workers’ Comp. Unfortunately many insurance companies will do everything they can do figure out a way to deny your claim.
Contact ESR Law Group for a free consultation if you think you may have a Workers’ Compensation claim.
ESR Law Group is located in downtown Chicago. We represent clients in personal injury, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation cases. #KnowYourRights