Your Employer Has an Obligation to Keep You Safe
There’s no way around it — Illinois employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Pursuant to Illinois state law, workers’ compensation benefits are paid at 66.66% of your average weekly wage, and are usually distributed after three days of work have been missed. If more than two weeks of work are missed, the first three days of lost wages will be compensated as well. Additionally, if you suffer an injury that results in permanent disfigurement, you may obtain up to 162 weeks of benefits at 60% of your average weekly wages.
First Things First: Notify Your Employer
Under Illinois state law, you must notify your employer within 45 days of suffering a work-related injury in order to collect workers’ compensation benefits. A delay of more than 45 days will likely result in the loss of your right to receive any and all workers’ compensation benefits. Keep in mind, however, that there are a few exceptions to this rule. After you notify your employer that you’ve been injured performing your work duties, your employer must provide you with a list of approved medical providers and notify their insurance provider to begin processing your claim.
Exceptions to the 45-Day Filing Rule in Illinois
If you’ve developed a slow-developing illness or cumulative trauma injury — i.e. one that presents itself with relative consistency and severity — you must notify your employer as soon as you become aware of the condition. This ailment must be work-related and must be debilitating in some way. For example, if while performing standard work duties you suffer an injury due to radiation exposure, the state of Illinois gives you 90 days from the date of exposure to notify your employer.
Appealing a Rejected Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claim
Your employer may deny your workers’ compensation claim for a variety of reasons, including failure to notify him or her of an injury within 45 days, and/or failure to demonstrate that your injury resulted from the performance of standard work responsibilities. If you’re sure that you notified your employer within 45 days and your employer nevertheless denied your claim, you may submit an appeal with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). The IWCC will then hold a hearing wherein they will determine the status of your workers’ compensation claim.
Put a Skilled Springfield Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Your Corner
The IWCC suggests that most employees consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, especially if their workers’ compensation claim has been denied. An Illinois attorney can help facilitate a settlement and/or request that your case be heard in a formal setting. An attorney can also help you prepare evidence if or when your claim moves to trial.
Bradford C. Bucklin Attorney at Law offers seasoned legal counsel to residents throughout Springfield and Sangamon County. If you’re thinking about filing a workers’ compensation claim, call (217) 546-6800 today to schedule your free consultation.