In the immediate aftermath of a workplace injury, workers may be shocked and traumatized, worrying about their physical health and the possible future of their families. Employees in Illinois have the right to medical care and financial support when they are hurt on the job. By following these four tips, you can safeguard your right to compensation after an injury.
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- Get immediate medical care
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the 60 minutes after an accident are the most crucial in determining long-term survival and recovery. As soon as you are injured, you should seek immediate medical care. Go to the local emergency room if necessary. If you already have a primary care provider in the area, you also have the right to receive urgent medical care at your regular doctor’s office. Illinois workers’ compensation law provides for reimbursement of all emergency medical expenses in the hours and days after an accident. Even if your employer has a network of preferred providers for long-term care, your first priority is to seek the care you need now.
- Document the injury as fully as possible
If you are injured on the job, you should document the event as thoroughly as possible. Ask co-workers and supervisors to help you reconstruct the timeline leading up to the injury. Take photographs of the area if possible, and try to capture visual evidence of any machinery, vehicles or other objects involved in the accident. The more documentation you can bring to your case, the better chance you have of full compensation.
- Know what your employer is required to do
Every employer has a number of responsibilities after a workplace accident, including all of the following:
- Covering the cost of all emergency medical care and first aid
- Notifying the company’s insurance carrier
- Reporting the incident in detail to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
- Offering temporary total disability as soon as the employee has missed three full days of work
If employers neglect any of these duties, they should be reported immediately and may be liable to penalties from the IWCC.
- Speak and act discreetly as you wait for a decision on your case
Waiting for a workers’ compensation decision can be slow and tedious. Don’t make the mistake of speaking indiscreetly about your case. Use social media wisely, even among family and friends, and seek legal counsel before you make any public statements about your injury.