Workers’ compensation is more important now than ever. After several years of decline, the number of on the job injuries in Illinois has increased slightly since 2018. These job injuries usually involve either trauma injuries, like falls, or occupational diseases, such as gradual hearing loss. As outlined below, these two kinds of injuries work a bit differently, but there are many similarities.
One common denominator, at least in a successful claim, is a good Illinois personal injury attorney. The workers’ compensation system is stacked against job injury victims. An attorney helps these victims get the compensation they need, such as wage replacement and medical bill payment, so they can return to work quickly.
Report Your Injury To Protect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
All workers must promptly inform their supervisors when they are injured at work. Illinois and U.S. law prohibits discrimination based on workers’ comp filings, and claims can be withdrawn at any time, so injured workers have nothing to lose.
Most insurance policies require written notice. So, an email or text message might or might not suffice. The best practice is to send immediate electronic notice then follow up with “snail mail” or other paper-and-ink notice.
The reporting rules are a bit different for hearing loss and other occupational disease claims. Most people don’t run to the doctor at the first sign of a problem. Additionally, many people do not immediately connect something like hearing loss to their work environments. These victims do not have to file claims until they are fully aware of these things.
Collect Evidence To Back Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance. Injured victims do not need to prove negligence, recklessness, or anything else.
However, evidence is still important in these situations. Victims must establish a work-related connection. This connection is usually rather easy to make in trauma injury claims. Occupational disease claims are a bit more difficult.
Additionally, the more evidence the victim presents, the more compensation is usually available. That’s especially true in permanent disability claims.
Obtain Medical Help To Verify Injury For Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
In many states, injured workers must see the company doctor. But in Illinois, most injured workers have the right to choose their own doctors. When you file a claim, exercise that right.
All work-related injuries require specialized care. Many fall victims sustain soft tissue injuries or brain injuries which many diagnostic tests, like X-rays, do not detect. As for occupational diseases, unless a doctor takes prompt and appropriate action, these conditions usually deteriorate.
As mentioned, workers’ compensation usually pays all reasonably necessary medical expenses. If the insurance company delays payment, which often happens, an Illinois personal injury attorney usually sends a letter of protection to the medical provider. So, the provider usually charges nothing upfront.
Don’t Give Up
When workers’ compensation first became available in the early 1900s, it was a worker-friendly system that sped compensation to injured workers. Today, the opposite is true. At the first level review, Claims Examiners routinely deny claims, regardless of their merits. These bureaucrats hope these denials convince victims to abandon their claims or settle them for less than they are worth.
So, if your claim is denied, don’t give up. The denial does not mean your claim is weak or meritless. It simply gives you a ticket to go to the next level, where fair compensation usually awaits.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Injured workers in Illinois have important legal rights. For a free consultation with an experienced Rockford job injury attorney, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. After-hours, virtual, and home visits are available.