With over 2.8 million non-fatal work accidents in the United States each year, injuries on the job are one of the most unpredictable yet everyday occurrences in the workplace. Because of this, Illinois offers workplace injury coverage through workers’ compensation insurance.
The benefits awarded in a successful workers’ comp claim can have a substantial impact on the financial security of an injured worker and include full coverage of medical expenses and disability benefits. If you or someone you love had a non-fatal accident at work, read below the step-by-step process to obtain workers’ compensation in Illinois.
1.) Seek Medical Attention and Notify Employers
After an injury in the workplace, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Workers only have 45 days to notify employers about a workplace injury before they become ineligible for workers’ compensation. As soon as you identify an injury, seek medical attention, and confirm that the injury is work-related, it is essential to notify your employer.
You may notify your employer verbally or in writing, but the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission recommends writing. Keep in mind that another co-worker telling your employer about an injury does not qualify as a notice; it is the responsibility of the injured party to notify their employer.
2.) File an Application for Adjustment of Claim
The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission plays a vital role in the process of obtaining workers’ comp benefits. Specifically, the Commission can order your employer to give you benefits. For this to happen, you need to submit a workers’ compensation claim through the mail or to your employer.
Filing this claim can speed up the dispute process if one were to occur in the future. It is also essential to notify your employer and seek medical attention before this step. Otherwise, your claim may be denied.
3.) Respond and Communicate with Your Employer
Once your employer is notified of your workplace injury, several different things may happen. First, your employer should give you a list of medical professionals through their preferred provider network (PPN) to assist in your medical treatment. They should also begin the insurance provider process. Your employer has 30 days to file an accident report with the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission during this time.
4.) Check Claim Status
Ensure you are up to date with the status of your claim. If your employer does not approve all aspects of your claim, you may need to appeal the decision. You can use the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission website to check the status of your claim.
Can Employers Refuse to Compensate an Injured Worker?
In some situations, employers may refuse to give worker’s compensation for a variety of reasons, including:
- The accident did not happen at work
- The employee either did not report the injury or did not seek medical attention
- The worker was intoxicated or on drugs during the time of the injury
- The injury happened at the workplace but outside of paid hours
- The employer disputes the nature of the injury or facts of the incident
Ask an Attorney for Help with Obtaining Workers’ Compensation in Illinois
The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission highly recommends hiring an attorney in any contested workers’ comp case. If you or a loved one were injured at work and needs assistance in and part of the process for obtaining workers’ compensation in Illinois, call the Costa Ivone Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with an attorney.