What should I do if I get injured on the job?
Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. If you need emergency attention or medical treatment, also let your employer know. You may also need to notify the Industrial Commission, but as long as you keep records diligently and are upfront about your injury, your future claim will be in a strong position. To make sure you are following the correct steps, ask an experienced workers’ comp attorney for guidance.
How can I jeopardize my benefits?
There are a number of factors that could lead to a denial of your benefits. These include administrative failures, such as filing fraudulent information or reporting your injuries in a timely manner, or failure to cooperate with either your doctor or your employer (by returning to work). You have to cooperate with an authorized physician when it comes to medical evaluations and treatment. The physician may ask you to submit to drug tests and other medical exams—as long as these requests are reasonable, you must comply.
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Could I be denied workers compensation benefits as a result of an on-the-job injury?
If your injury was the result of “willful misconduct” or due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs, your workers’ compensation benefits will not apply to you.
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Can I sue anyone else for a work-related injury?
Yes, it is possible that you may also have third party case. If your injury was caused by the negligence of someone who is not also an employee of your company then a third party case may be available to you.
What if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?
If your employer and its insurance company deny coverage on the claim, you may file a claim with Illinois’s agency. There is a time limitation—all workers compensation statutes restrict the amount of time you or your dependent has to file a workers compensation claim, usually between one to three years from the date of injury, depending on the state. If your claim is for a job-related disease, the time limitation period begins when you learn you have the disease.
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Do I have to be injured at work to receive workers compensation?
No. Any job-related injury is applicable under workers’ compensation, regardless of where you were. If you were injured while traveling for your employer or running errands for your employer, then that counts. Benefits are payable even if you were injured at a social function required by your job.
Must I see an insurance company doctor, or can I see my own doctor?
Because workers’ compensation is paid for by your employer’s insurance provider, you will need to see the doctor they choose. However, if you formally state that you would prefer another doctor, the insurance company must provide one at their own expense. In many cases, injured workers have the right to a second opinion from a physician of their choice. For long-term care, you may automatically be referred back to your regular doctor for treatment.
Can I ever sue my employer in court over a work-related injury?
If your work-related injury was intentional or the result of reckless behavior, you may be able to sue your employer in court directly. Unlike workers’ compensation benefits, these cases will include compensation for punitive damages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish, in addition to medical costs.
Have more questions? Our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys advocate for clients nationwide—we can provide answers and travel directly to you.