Most Illinois employers buy workers’ compensation insurance. After all, Illinois law requires it, and most Illinois employees qualify for this important benefit. When does your workers’ comp claim really begin? Typically, it could be when you are injured at work or become ill because of your job. Either way, it’s important to know your rights when it comes to your workers’ compensation claim, especially how to get things started.
After the Injury or Disease Happens
The first thing an injured employee should do is get help. For severe injuries, someone may have to call 911. For less serious situations, your employer may have someone drive you to a doctor or have someone administer first aid.
But sometimes injuries are not caused by a sudden accident and instead occur over time. When does your workers’ compensation claim begin in this type of situation? You might consider your claim to begin when you are diagnosed with an occupational disease or a repetitive motion injury.
It’s important to notify your employer that you have a work-related injury. You should do so as soon as possible, especially considering the following time limits:
- Notify your employer of work-related injury no later than 45 days after an accident.
- Notify the employer within 90 days after receiving an excessive dose of radiation.
Occupational diseases are a little different. The employee must notify his or her employer as soon as possible after learning they have a potentially work-related condition.
Sometimes your workers’ compensation claim runs smoothly, with your employer paying benefits and covering necessary medical expenses – sometimes, but not always.
Problems with Benefits from the Employer
Your employer may disagree with your workers’ compensation claim and either:
- Refuse to pay any benefits, or
- Pay less than they should.
When this happens, you may have to take your workers’ compensation claim to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (the “Commission”).
Keep in mind that you must file your claim with the Commission within three years after an injury, death or disablement from an occupational disease, OR within two years of the last temporary total disability payment.
The Commission will assign your case to an arbitrator, who will take it from there.
Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Important, From the Very Beginning
If you’ve been injured at work or diagnosed with an occupational disease, talk to an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
Osvaldo Rodriguez has more than 20 years’ experience helping people like you. Schedule a free initial consultation or ask a question by calling us at 708-716-3441 or by completing 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.