In 2017, about 200,000 workers reported injuries to their employers. Of that group, approximately 40,000 filed workers’ compensation claims with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (the “Commission”). Are you recovering from an injury that occurred at work? Maybe you just learned you have cancer or another medical condition that may have been caused by your work? If so, you may be wondering what you can do to get workers’ compensation benefits. Consider the following questions.
Are You Eligible to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation laws cover most employees in Illinois. Most employers are required to buy workers’ compensation insurance.
Find out if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. If you have an employer-employee relationship, then you probably are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Did Your Injury or Disease Happen at Work?
Sometimes it’s very obvious that you were hurt at work because your injury occurred as the result of an accident. Other on-the-job injuries are harder to determine. For example, repetitive injuries may develop and worsen over time, making it difficult to pinpoint when you were hurt.
Occupational diseases may be even harder to pin down. If you develop lung cancer or emphysema, for example, you’ll need to prove your job caused it and not some other environmental hazard.
Don’t make this decision yourself. Talk to medical professionals and a workers’ compensation attorney.
Have You Seen a Doctor?
Speaking of medical professionals, you’ll need medical proof of your condition. Make sure you see a doctor as soon as you are injured or feel ill from a possible occupational disease. Keep track of which medical providers you see and what they say about your condition.
Have You Reported Your Injury or Disease to Your Employer?
This step is crucial. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act sets out deadlines that employees must meet to be eligible for workers’ compensation.
- Notify your employer as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after an accident.
- Notify employers of radiological exposure within 90 days.
- Notify your employer of occupational diseases as soon you learn about the disease.
To get workers’ compensation benefits, protect your rights by reporting your injury. Ask for help if you have any trouble getting those benefits.
You Need an Attorney with Workers’ Comp Experience. We Can Help.
When it’s time to get workers’ compensation benefits, you need a lawyer who knows the workers’ compensation system.
The attorneys at Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C., are here to help with your workers’ comp claims. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience representing people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.
We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, DuPage County, and Will County.