If You Are Injured on the Job, Protect Your Rights

By: Howard Ankin
The Ankin Law Office

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

  • Make sure to notify your employer as soon as possible after your accident- Although the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act allows you forty-five days to notify your employer of your accident, the sooner the better.
  • Keep a copy of the accident report form- If your employer requires you to complete an accident report form, keep a copy for your records. NEVER sign a blank accident report form.
  • Obtain the name and contact information of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier from your employer- Your employer is required by law to post the contact information in a prominent area at your place of employment.
  • Seek medical treatment from your own doctor- If necessary seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident. Although your employer may direct you to a company clinic or doctor, you DO NOT have to be treated by the company doctor
  • Give a complete and accurate history of your accident to all your treating doctors- It is very important to give complete, accurate and consistent histories to all your treating physicians. Any inconsistencies in your histories could raise a red flag and result in your claim being denied by the insurance company.
  • Make sure to get an “off work” note from your doctor if your doctor feels that you are unable to work because of your injuries- You must be off work pursuant to your doctor’s orders in ordered to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Make sure to give your employer and the insurance company a copy of the off work note- You should keep your employer and the insurance updated on your medical status. Failure to notify the insurance company of your medical status could result in having your benefits interrupted.
  • Make sure to keep all scheduled medical appointments, i.e. follow-up visits, physical therapy– It is important to keep all your scheduled medical appointments. Regularly failing to keep these appointments will result in your benefits being stopped by the insurance company.
  • Keep a copy of all correspondence, check stubs and any other documentation pertaining to your workers’ compensation claim- It is important to keep complete and accurate records of your claim in the event of a dispute or denial from the insurance company.

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