Written by Anna M. Campbell
There are some important things to keep in mind after you are injured at work in Illinois to make sure you get all the benefits you are entitled to and to get the best possible resolution of your case. The possible benefits you may be entitled to in Illinois are medical, lost wages, permanency or wage differential, job training and death benefits.
Here are some tips to remember:
- Report your work injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.In Illinois, the law requires you to report the accident to the employer within 45 days.This will typically get the process started and hopefully the employer will start paying you benefits.
- File a formal claim called an Application for Adjustment of Claim and consider talking to an experienced workers compensation attorney who will be pro-active and fight for your rights, especially if you require more medical treatment and have a complicated case.
- Medical treatment.When talking to the doctor, make sure to document your complaints and describe your work accident or work duties in detail, especially if your injury is by occupational disease.This documentation will be very important when evaluating your case.If you are still hurting from the injury and feel you need more treatment, make sure to discuss this with your attorney.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company!Remember, no matter how nice the adjusters seem, it is their job to look for ways to deny your claim and settle for the least amount possible.
- Be aware of any potential liens that could affect your settlement.There are many different types of liens out there that could claim an interest in your settlement proceeds, including health care services liens, Illinois Public Aid and child support liens, attorney liens and Medicare liens.Their interests will have to be taken into consideration at the time of settlement of your case.
- Be careful and smart on Social Media.Don’t post comments about the work injury on Facebook and be cautious what you post regarding the activities you are able to perform, as your employer will likely look at this information in evaluating your case.Also, there is the possibility your employer is conducting surveillance of you to see what activities you are doing to determine whether you are really limited in what you can do.For example, if you claim you can’t lift over a certain amount and then they see you lifting above that weight, this will be favorable for the employer to argue you are exaggerating your complaints and are not credible.
All these are considerations to think about after you are injured on the job, but are sometimes easy to forget as many people have not had a workers’ compensation claim before and can get overwhelmed dealing with the incident.