Advice from a Chicago Injury Attorney
Workers compensation laws are notoriously complex. In Illinois, all employers with at least one part- or full-time employee must have workers’ comp insurance, as the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission explains. The construction and extraction industries are some of the most dangerous industries for employees, and many workers understand the benefits of using a work injury attorney for help with the claims process.
If you are learning the hard way just how reluctant companies and insurance providers are to pay benefits to injured workers, then contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. A Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from our firm can evaluate your claim, gather evidence and fight for maximum compensation.
Our family has been representing Illinois’ injured since 1924. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, call (800)-985-1819.
Inform Your Employer Immediately
According to the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission, employees have 45 days to report their injuries to employers. However, companies often create internal rules that require employees to file a report on the same day of the accident. If you delay, then your employer or the insurance company may be more likely to deny liability.
Mitchell Horwitz, Principal Partner and head of the workers’ compensation department at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, recently convinced the Appellate Court of Illinois to affirm a previous circuit court decision – the circuit court of Illinois previously had reversed an unfavorable decision by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The decision of the circuit court of Cook County and affirmation of the Appellate Court of Illinois will benefit most, if not every injured worker in the state of Illinois. The appeal was based around whether an employer could deny workers compensation benefits on a claim that is not reported on the day of the accident – a work rule set by the employer.
It is not always possible to report an injury immediately after an accident. Some wounds are only noticeable several days after the incident; others result from repetitive trauma, and they manifest gradually over several years. This should not dissuade you from reporting the injury.
Get Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
You may not recover workers’ compensation benefits without an injury, and you will need medical records for evidence. You should get treatment as soon as possible. Otherwise, your employer or the insurance company may dispute the cause of your injury or its severity. If, for example, your injury occurs just before Thanksgiving but you decide to wait it out and see if it gets worse until the New Year, then it may be more difficult to recover benefits.
Know Your Medical Options
In Illinois, you have the right to use your own doctor. You also have the right to two chains of referrals. For instance, if repeated use of vibratory equipment causes carpel tunnel syndrome, then your primary care doctor will likely conduct tests, and then refer you to a specialist. That counts as one referral. However, your employer can deny payment for further treatment that you choose to get on your own – without a referral.
Understand the Adversarial Process
Injured employees are not automatically entitled to workers compensation benefits. In fact, the worker has the burden of proof.
To win your claim, you must prove that your injury occurred at work or during the course of employment and was the direct result of performing work-related duties. Your employer and his or her insurance company may dispute your claim vigorously, so having the right evidence is critical. An Illinois workers’ comp lawyer from our firm can guide you through this process.
If you were injured on the job and would like to speak with an Illinois work injury lawyer, contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. Our firm has recovered more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements. Call (800)-985-1819 for a free consultation with one of our Illinois workers compensation attorneys.