Workers’ compensation refers to the type of insurance policy that employers are required to purchase to cover employees’ medical bills and lost wages following workplace accidents. In Illinois, workers’ compensation insurance and claims are brought before the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. The state regulations for workers’ compensation claims are included in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. To determine if you are eligible for a workers’ compensation claim and if so, how to pursue yours, work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Workers’ compensation claims appear to be very similar to personal injury claims. But despite both being ways to recover compensation for one’s medical bills and lost wages following an accident, the two are quite different.
The main factor that makes workers’ compensation claims unique among other injury claim types is the requirement that the claimant suffered his or her injury while he or she was at work, performing work-related duties. If an individual was injured outside of work or if the injury occurred while he or she was not working, such as while he or she was driving from his or her workplace to a restaurant for lunch or while engaging in activities that were not related to the individual’s job, he or she cannot file a workers’ compensation claim.
Further, an individual must be an employee of his or her company to be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Independent contractors cannot file this type of claim and in the event they are injured on the job, they must file personal injury claims.
Another key difference between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims is the time frame an individual has to file his or her claim. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury, meaning that victims are entitled to file personal injury claims for up to two years after their injuries occur.
In a Workers Compensation case If you are injured on the job, you must notify your employer of your injury, preferably in writing, within 45 days. The statute of limitations for a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois is three years from the date of the accident or two years from the most recent benefit payment that the claimant received. In other words, if an individual’s employer paid him or her compensation for his or her injuries through company benefits, rather than through workers’ compensation, the individual has until two years from the final benefit payment to file a claim for workers’ compensation.
If you are injured on the job, obtain as much proof of your injury and the circumstances that led to it as possible. This could mean taking photographs of the site where your accident occurred and seeking testimonies from those who were present at your accident. You should be honest with your supervisor when you give him notice of the injury.
After notifying your employer, you will need to see a doctor for a diagnosis. You may need to undergo an independent medical examination by one of the doctors chosen by your employer. Follow your attorney’s instructions throughout the workers’ compensation claim process to give your claim the best chance of being approved.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to file and pursue your workers’ compensation claim. There are a lot of ways a workers’ compensation claim can end up being denied, some of which can be prevented by working with an attorney who has experience handling this type of claim. To schedule your initial legal consultation with an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney, contact The Law Offices of Thomas A. Morrissey today.
Thomas A. Morrissey is an experienced personal injury lawyer, trusted to protect the rights of those who have suffered an injury in the Chicagoland area.
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