Workers Compensation in Illinois
You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Illinois state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Illinois workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Illinois ?
According to the most recent data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, private service-providing companies reported the most nonfatal workplace incidents. In 2019, the service industry including banking, medicine, and retail represented a staggering 61.2% of work injuries in The Prairie State. The State of Illinois reports that the average cost for workers’ compensation for employers was $1.07 per $100 of payroll for the state and $1.21 for the federal government. Contact with an object or piece of equipment is the most common way for employees in the Land of Lincoln to get hurt on the job.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Illinois ?
There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Illinois workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss.
Illinois requires most employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. It’s crucial to know that business partners, corporate officers, sole proprietors, and members of limited liability companies may choose to take an exemption. Benefits include reimbursement for medical costs, rehabilitation, death, and disability for physical and mental injuries that happen while on the job. The state provides ⅔ of an individual’s average weekly wage while on workers’ compensation.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Illinois are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.
Get Medical Attention
After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay receiving help from an Illinois healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.
Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.
When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a First Report of Injury
Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how Illinois workers comp works.
Illinois gives employees injured on the job three years to apply for workers’ compensation. Any attempts to obtain benefits after that time will likely result in a denial. After seeking medical attention, report the injury to your employer. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act states that it’s an employer’s responsibility to send reports to the Workers’ Compensation Commission after an accident that results in three or more lost workdays. You must submit an Application for Adjustment of Claim, even if you have a new case, within the statute of limitations.
The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to submit a copy of the doctor’s report with the report of injury.
Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point. Either about the incident or to find any possible witnesses to the event. If an employee does not file for additional benefits within two years of receiving their last payment, that may result in a denial of their claim.
Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In learning how Illinois workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to call into question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire an Illinois workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Illinois
Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky. You should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Illinois state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!