Most people working in the State of Illinois are covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act when they are injured in the course of their employment. If you have sustained an injury, it is important to comply with that statute to make sure that your ability to obtain benefits is preserved. Following the steps below will provide the best opportunity to obtain workers’ compensation benefits:
1. The most important thing to do after you are injured is to notify your employer. Notice can be made orally or in writing and must be given to someone in a supervisory position. Ideally, this notice should be given as soon as is possible, but the statute provides that it can be given not later than 45 days after the accident date. Practically speaking, the sooner that notice is give, the less of a chance the employer will have to dispute the fact that you were injured at work. If there is a gap in time between the claimed injury date and the notice, this opens up the possibility for the employer to claim that you may have been injured outside of work.
2. Once notice has been given, the next step is to seek medical attention to diagnose the injury and to obtain any work restrictions, if applicable. As with notice, the sooner that treatment is sought, the less likely it is for your employer to claim that you did not sustain a work injury. Gaps in treatment will sometimes provide obstacles to obtaining benefits. In some cases, the employer will have a clinic that they send employees to in order to obtain initial treatment. While this is acceptable, every employee has the right to obtain treatment from a provider of their choice. If restrictions are given, they should be immediately provided to the employer.
3. If benefits are being provided after notice is given and treatment is rendered, the last step to pursue and preserve all of your rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act is to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The filing of this application is also accompanied with an Attorney Representation Agreement so that an expert in this area can help to guide you through the rest of this process. The attorneys at McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC are highly experienced with this intricate and confusing process and can provide you with the counsel and guidance you need.
Brian Cichon has over 15 years of experience representing individuals before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you are injured while working, McNamara Phelan McSteen can help.