Giving Notice of a Work Injury
Workplace injuries and occupational illnesses can have devastating effects for a worker’s capacity to work and make a living. If you’ve been hurt in a work-related accident, it is vital to report your injury in a prompt manner in order to recover the benefits you deserve. Our hard-working Wheaton and Schaumburg workers’ compensation attorneys know how to file and what to argue in an accident claim. We have the experience to handle even the most complicated workers’ compensation cases.Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA) generally covers all injuries and ailments that are caused – in whole or part – by an employee’s work. This includes pre-existing issues that are made worse by the worker’s job. Based on the extent of the injury or illness, the employee may be entitled to a variety of benefits. The IWCA allows an injured worker to pick his or her own doctor and the employer or insurance company is required to pay for, among other benefits, all medical care that is reasonably necessary to treat the worker.Giving Notice of a Work Injury
Under Section 6(c) of the IWCA, notice of the work-related injury or illness must be provided to the employer as soon as it is feasible, but no more than 45 days after an accident has occurred. In other words, in order to win a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, it is common practice to give your employer notice within 45 days of the accident. As a practical matter, you should report your injury and seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the injury. Employers and insurance companies are skeptical of delayed claims and are more likely to deny them.
The notice can be provided orally or in writing, though providing written notice is recommended because in the event that you are forced to file a claim, having a written record can help your case. When you notify your employer, you should include as many details as possible such as when and where the accident occurred; how you were injured; and what symptoms you are experiencing. It is important to be aware of the fact that giving notice of a work injury to a fellow employee or even your union does not count as properly notifying your employer under Section 6(c).
If you fail to notify the employer of the work injury within 45 days, you may lose to right to receive workers’ compensation benefits altogether. There are some cases, however, where you have longer than the 45-day limit to report a workplace injury. For instance, if the injury has slow developing symptoms or symptoms that take place over a long period of time, you are required to report it as soon possible after you are aware of the condition. There are also extended reporting time frames for incidents where you are exposed to radiation. In such cases, notice is required within 90 days of the time that the worker knows or suspects that he or she has received an excessive dose of radiation. A seasoned work injury lawyer can assess whether any of these exceptions to the 45-day rule may apply in your case.What Happens After I Report My Injury?
Once you have given notice of a work injury, your employer is required to file an accident report within thirty days with the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission (IWCC), the government agency that handles all workers’ compensation claims. Merely filing a report with the IWCC does not result in any action; it simply serves as a notification that a workplace accident has occurred.
In addition, once you have notified your employer of the work-related injury, your employer must report the injury to its insurance company. The insurance company then investigates the claim and either approves or denies your workers’ compensation benefits.Work Injury Attorneys Serving Wheaton and Schaumburg
Workplace injuries can have long-term consequences for a worker and his or her entire family. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. At Therman Law Offices, our diligent Wheaton and Schaumburg lawyers have been representing injured Illinois workers for years and can put our experience to use in your case. We proudly represent clients from Elmhurst, Lemont, Westmont, West Chicago, Oakbrook Terrace, Downers Grove, Lisle, Clarendon Hills, Darien and Bolingbrook. For a free and confidential consultation regarding your case, call us today at 312-588-1900 or contact us through our website.