If you are physically hurt at work, if you should fall and hurt yourself or have a piece of equipment malfunction and are you injured here are some tips for you. These are important guidelines to follow if you are injured on the job and wish to have your employer compensate you for your injuries. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of benefits paid by employers to workers who experience job-related injuries. The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission operates the state system for scheduling workers’ compensation cases. An arbitrator first tries a case, and then a panel of three commissioners may review that decision.
Make sure to notify your employer as soon as possible after your accident – Although the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act allows you forty-five days to notify your employer of your accident, the sooner the better.
Keep a copy of the accident report form – If your employer requires you to complete an accident report form, keep a copy for your records. NEVER sign a blank accident report form.
Obtain the name and contact information of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier from your employer – Your employer is required by law to post the contact information in a prominent area at your place of employment.
Seek medical treatment from your own doctor; if necessary seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident – Although your employer may direct you to a company clinic or doctor, you DO NOT have to be treated by the company doctor.
Give a complete and accurate history of your accident to all of your treating doctors – It is very important to give complete, accurate and consistent histories to all your treating physicians. Any inconsistencies in your histories could raise a red flag and may result in your claim being denied by the insurance company.
Make sure to get an “off work” note from your doctor if your doctor feels that you are unable to work because of your injuries – You must be off work pursuant to your doctor’s orders in ordered to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Make sure to give your employer and the insurance company a copy of the off work note – You should keep your employer and the insurance updated on your medical status. Failure to notify the insurance company of your medical status could result in having your benefits interrupted.
Make sure to keep all scheduled medical appointments, i.e. follow-up visits, physical therapy – It is important to keep all your scheduled medical appointments. Regularly failing to keep these appointments could result in your benefits being stopped by the insurance company.
Keep a copy of all correspondence, check stubs and any other documentation pertaining to your workers’ compensation claim – It is important to keep complete and accurate records of your claim in the event of a dispute or denial from the insurance company.