Do I need to report my work injury?

Mitchell W. Horwitz, a principal partner and head of the workers’ compensation department at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates answers a listener’s question on Free Legal Advice Friday’s:

Should I report my injury at work to my employer?

Yes, you should report it.

You should report it to your boss, your foreman, your superintendent, general superintendent, or somebody in management, human resources, you should report it.

Must it be in writing?

It does not have to be in writing.
The purpose of reporting an injury is so that your employer can look into it.
Why should they look into? Because your employer – if you are hurt on the job – may owe you a substantial amount of money, that being disability benefits and all your medical bills (100%). So they have a right to investigate the injury.
The law in Illinois is a 45 day reporting period – you have to report within 45 days. However, many employers – if you don’t report it that day or by the next day – will challenge whether or not it occurred at work.
In many cases, even if you report it on the day of the injury, they will challenge it.
So the reporting is important because of position employers take challenging whether or not somebody was hurt at work. They will treat somebody, in my view, like a criminal if they are hurt at work – like they are stealing from the company when in fact all they did was suffer from an injury because they are doing heavy or dangerous work.

Marc Perper’s Responses to:

Should I report my injury at work to my employer?

In Illinois, you have 45 days to report your injury to the employer.
Notice of the injury can be oral or written, its preferable that it be written and that way nobody can dispute it down the road. If you only give oral notice it’s very conceivable that they employer will deny that notice was given.
If there is a dispute as to notice, we have to go to court and prove that notice was given.

Who should I report my injury to?

You should report your injury to somebody in a supervisory capacity. That means an owner, a foreman, a shop steward, company nurse…
It is not sufficient to report your injury to a coworker. It has to be someone who stands in a supervisory capacity.Mitchell W. Horwitz and Marc A. Perper answer the Free Legal Advice Friday listener’s question: do I need to report my work injury?

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