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How Can I Protect My Right to Compensation After Being Injured on the Job?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

How Can I Protect My Right to Compensation After Being Injured on the Job?In an average year, some three million American workers suffer a work-related injury or illness. Many are fortunate that their injuries are relatively minor and can go back to work quickly. Others, however, suffer much more serious injuries, including spine and head injuries, which cause them to miss work for long periods of time. In the most severe cases, the injuries can be catastrophic, leading to permanent disability or even death. Regardless of the severity of the injury, all injured workers need to know how to ensure their rights are protected as they seek compensation for their injuries — especially if they are seeking benefits under the Illinois workers’ compensation system.

Report Your Injury Quickly

When you suffer an injury at work, you should report the injury to your employer right away or as soon as reasonably possible. You must report your injury within 45 days or you risk losing your eligibility for work comp benefits. If the incident in question involves radiation exposure, the reporting deadline is extended to 90 days. Do not risk losing your benefits. Report your injury to your employer immediately.

Keep a Copy of Your Records

Nobody likes extra paperwork, but the documentation of the nature, extent, and treatment of your injury will be critical in getting you the benefits you deserve. Get and keep a copy of your initial injury report as well as any records that are available from your treating doctors and facilities. These records are especially important if you are seeking disability benefits or if your employer is disputing your claim in any way. By having your own copies of your records, you ensure that you and your lawyer have access to everything you need to pursue compensation.

Second Opinions Are Important

Following your injury, you may have been referred to a particular facility or doctor by your employer. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for an employer-approved physician to underestimate the severity of your injuries and the limitations your injuries may be causing. Under Illinois law, you have the right to a second opinion from another employer-approved doctor. You can also choose a non-approved doctor if you believe that you are not receiving quality care. Getting a second opinion can also help demonstrate the true extent of your injuries in the event that your claim is denied.

Contact a Crystal Lake Work Injury Lawyer

If you are dealing with a serious work-related injury — including an injury that could result in permanent or temporary disability — you need to have a skilled workplace injury attorney at your side. By working closely with a qualified lawyer, you can be sure that your rights and best interests are fully protected. To learn more, contact an experienced McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, today. Call 815-338-3838 for a free no-obligation consultation.

Sources:

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh.pdf

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Documents/handbook.pdf

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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