Mistakes to avoid when applying for workers’ compensation in Illinois

Male Worker Suffering With PainAccording to the Workers’ Compensation Commission, 48,296 workers’ compensation cases were decided in Illinois in 2012. Eleven percent of those cases were dismissed with no compensation. In the immediate trauma and aftermath of a workplace injury, many employees make one or more common mistakes when applying for workers’ comp. To cut down on the possible risk of having a case dismissed, injured workers should be aware of some potential pitfalls during the application process.

Prompt notification is crucial

Illinois law specifies that employees must notify their employers within 90 days of an accident if they plan to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Of course the first priority should be seeking medical help, but telling a doctor is not enough. Unless the employer is informed about the extent and severity of the injury, it may not be possible to file a successful claim. It is in the employee’s best interest to make a prompt, honest report of the incident.

Time lost is not the only cost of a workplace injury

Even if employees do not lose any working hours because of an accident, they are still entitled to apply for compensation. The additional toll of workplace injuries can include the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Mileage for visits to the doctor
  • Medication expenses
  • Other costs incurred after the incident 

Workers’ comp is designed to cover these extra expenses on the road to recovery.

Pre-existing conditions may not hurt a claim

Some employees may be hesitant to claim workers’ compensation when an accident on the job aggravates a pre-existing condition. If workers have been suffering from back pain for many years and notice a sudden increase in discomfort after an incident at work, they are still fully entitled to report their injury and file a claim for workers’ comp.

Existing health insurance isn’t always enough

If an employee suffers a disabling injury at work, private insurance or employer-provided insurance may not be able to pay all the necessary disability benefits. Workers’ comp is designed to cover 100 percent of work-related medical bills. This means that employees and their families won’t be burdened with co-pays, coverage caps, and other limitations imposed by their regular insurers. Even top-notch private health insurance is not always enough to sustain the entire cost of a serious workplace injury.

Illinois employees can benefit fully from their state workers’ compensation program by avoiding these common pitfalls while applying. If you have questions about your application, get in touch with a qualified attorney for more information.

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When you contact Orzoff Law Offices, you will receive a free initial consultation to answer your questions and focus on your goals. Call 847-564-0285 or send us an email using our quick contact form.

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