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Making These Mistakes Can Destroy Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

| Apr 1, 2014 | Motor Vehicle Accident, Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation

If you get injured on the job or suffer exposure that causes an illness, it is easy to become confused about how to proceed when filing an Illinois workers’ compensation claim. If you unknowingly act, or fail to act, in a manner that can jeopardize your Illinois workers’ compensation claim, you may be denied the benefits that you are entitled to receive.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid so that you can protect your Illinois workers’ compensation claim and receive proper medical care and compensation for injuries incurred.

Failing to Promptly Report the Accident

Illinois workers’ compensation regulations require you to notify your employer, orally or in writing, of the “approximate” date and place of the accident or exposure. You must do so within 45 days after the incident occurs. For an injury due to toxic exposure or repetitive/cumulative use, you have 45 days after becoming aware of the workplace cause for the injury to make a report.

Leaving Details Out of the Report

Many individuals have their Illinois workers’ compensation claims denied because of a lack of details in the accident report. You have the burden of proving that a workplace accident caused your illness or injury. When discussing the accident, make sure you list all your injuries and problems, no matter how small and review the document for accuracy.

Not Providing Full and Accurate Medical History

Be honest, specific and accurate when discussing the accident with your doctor. Reveal any pre-existing medical conditions or past injuries. Make it clear to the physician what your condition was like before the accident and how it changed afterward. Remember, the insurance company will investigate your medical records and history with the intent of denying your Illinois workers’ compensation claim.

Ignoring the Physician’s Orders

Whether the treating physician is a member of the employer’s network or you choose your own doctor, make sure that you follow recommendations for therapy and keep follow up medical appointments. If you fail to adhere to the doctor’s instructions, you can expect allegations of being “non-compliant” and risk your Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

Refusing to Return to Work

You do not have to be 100% recovered from the accident to return to work. Your employer can assign you light duties if you have medical restrictions. If you feel that returning to work would not be in your best interest, ask your employer to submit a detailed job description to the treating physician for approval. Your doctor can determine if you are physically able to resume work duties.

Not Seeking Experienced Legal Counsel

Many injured workers represent themselves, either wait too long to speak to an Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer or hire the wrong attorney. Missteps made at the outset can be difficult to fix and may reduce your benefits or render you ineligible to receive the medical care and compensation for your injuries.

Level the playing field by taking advantage of a free legal consultation to discuss your case with an experience Illinois worker’ compensation attorney.