If you’ve been injured on the job, you may wonder if you can be reimbursed for the money you’ve lost due to your injuries. Luckily, you are probably covered under Illinois workers’ compensation.
The unfortunate truth about workers’ compensation in Illinois is that insurance companies will deny just about all the cases they can. They may have good reasons, or it may be due to bad faith. There’s no promise that your claim won’t be disputed, but there are actions you can take to reduce the insurance company’s defense possibilities.
By hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for your claim, you have the best chance for a successful claim.
Steps to Take
The following are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success with your workers’ compensation claim:
Notify your employer of your injuries. The sooner you do this, the better. Although you technically have 45 days to report your accident, it is in your best interest to announce your injuries right away so there is no question whether or not they occurred while you were on the job.
Attain medical care immediately. If you’re injured but don’t see a doctor until three weeks past the date of the incident, that may signal a red flag. The insurance company may question whether you were truly hurt while working on the day you said the injury occurred. If your injury is legitimate, make sure to see a doctor right away.
Tell your doctor how you got injured. Make sure the doctor is not only aware of the cause of your injuries, but that they also record the cause on your official documentation. If the doctor’s report does not explicitly say you were injured at work, that could significantly impact the outcome of your claim. It is your responsibility to make sure the doctor is aware of what happened and that it is reported through the proper channels.
Tell the truth. Don’t allow your employer to pressure you to say you were injured outside of work. Do not exaggerate the story of your injury. People who lie significantly decrease their chances of successful claims.
Decline to provide a recorded statement. The insurance adjuster who handles your claim will probably ask you for one. Oftentimes, recorded statements are used as an attempt to catch you saying something that may hurt the success of your claim. Avoid this altogether by exercising your right not to provide a recorded statement.
Take your doctor’s advice. Be sure to complete any and all treatment your doctor recommends. If your doctor advises you not to engage in heavy lifting, wait to rearrange your living room until after the doctor releases your restrictions.
Set rules and oversight for the nurse case manager. The insurance company may try to assign a nurse manager to your case. It is okay to do so, but make sure there are rules and oversight guidelines in writing so that your rights aren’t inadvertently violated. Keep in mind this person may attempt to speak directly to your doctor which is against the law without your permission.
Obtain off-work documentation. Your doctor is required to make written documentation of your inability to perform work duties. If they tell you verbally, make sure they also put it in writing so you are able to receive your workers’ compensation benefits. It is your responsibility to furnish the insurance company or your attorney with a written copy of your off-work documentation.
Hire the Right Representation
For the last four decades, the experienced attorneys at Turner & Sackett have provided DeKalb and Kane County clients with individual attention for all workers’ compensation cases. We particularly enjoy assisting clients who are up against insurance companies, corporations, or other large organizations that might not initially offer fair compensation for damages. Don’t hesitate; start your claim right away.
Call Turner & Sackett today at (800) 653-0198 to speak with an attorney about your case.