How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Illinois
If you or somebody you care about has sustained a workplace injury, you should be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and a significant portion of your lost wages. However, the process of obtaining this compensation can be challenging. Here, we want to discuss how you, as a worker, can properly file a workers’ compensation claim after sustaining an on-the-job injury in Illinois.
When to Report a Workplace Injury
Workers’ compensation laws in Illinois require that an individual report a workplace injury or illness within 45 days after the incident occurs. In general, this means 45 days after sustaining an acute traumatic injury, 45 days after receiving a diagnosis, or 45 days after becoming aware of an injury, illness, or repetitive motion injury.
Some companies in Illinois have policies that require a worker to report an injury before this 45-day timeframe in order to receive compensation. However, these policies are just that – company policies that are not law. That said, we do recommend that you report your workplace injury or illness as soon as you know about it so that the injury claim can get started and that there is no question about whether or not the incident happened as a result of the workplace.
Reporting the Injury to the Employer
It is crucial that you keep detailed notes regarding the workplace injury or illness. This includes writing down the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as the individual with whom you reported the incident.
These details can serve as crucial evidence on the accident form provided by your employer. If your employer does not have a specific accident form, you need to submit the facts of the accident in writing to your supervisor and employer and keep a copy for yourself. We suggest that you have a coworker witness present when you make your injury report to your employer.
What to Include in a Workers’ Comp Claim
One of the most common reasons that workers are denied compensation for an injury is the lack of detail in the accident report. Those who sustain on-the-job injuries need to prove that their injury or illness was the result of a workplace accident or exposure.
If you are handling the claim on your own without assistance from an attorney, you have to fill out the workers’ compensation claim form you can find by clicking here. However, we strongly recommend that you work with an attorney who can fill this form out on your behalf. Please note that even if you have reported the workplace injury or illness within 45 days, you have to fill out this Application for Adjustment within three years from the date the injury occurred.
After you submit the application, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission will send you and your employer a Notice of Hearing. This notice will give you information about the arbitrator assigned to your case as well as the date of your first status call.
Turning to a Work Injury Lawyer in Illinois
If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury in the workplace, you may need to speak to an Illinois work injury attorney. If your claim has been delayed or denied by the insurance carrier or your employer, an attorney can take over your claim, investigate the incident, and handle all communication with other parties on your behalf.