WORK INJURY REPORTING DEADLINES IN ILLINOIS
Maybe you’ve heard stories about someone who got badly injured at work and got a large sum of money. Maybe that person was able to cover their medical bills and get paid for their injury. Well, that’s sort of how workers’ compensation is meant to work. The whole system was designed to protect injured workers AND their employers by providing a clear and out-of-court process for getting workers back on their feet after a workplace injury. Since the whole thing is a statutory creation, you have to follow the rules precisely in order to receive compensation. One of the biggest pitfalls is the notice requirement.
Unlike a typical personal injury claim, you actually have two deadlines – a notice requirement and a statute of limitations. At Jerome, Lindsay & Salmi, LLP, we have decades of experience handling Illinois and Missouri work comp injuries. If you are suffering from a serious work injury in Illinois or Missouri, give us a call today to speak to one of our workers’ compensation lawyers near you.
45-DAY NOTICE REQUIREMENT
The general rule requires you to give notice to your employer within just 45 days of your injury. In many cases, this is pretty straightforward. If you are hurt in an accident or due to a single event, it’s easy. Make sure you notify a supervisor or the personnel department right away. Your employer has a right to direct your medical care to an extent, so if you fail to give notice, you run the risk of losing certain rights and jeopardizing your ability to dispute medical findings.
Of course, not all injuries are straightforward. Many injuries are the result of continued repetitive tasks. In these cases, you are required to give notice within 45 days of being made aware of the diagnosis and its potential connection to work. In many cases, this can create an area for dispute. So, if you receive a diagnosis and suspect it is related to work, you should talk to an attorney and make your employer aware immediately. Make sure you put it in writing if at all possible.
There are also situations where perhaps you have given notice but not to the right person. Or maybe you made people at work aware of the injury, but your employer is claiming they weren’t aware. Finally, there are situations where supervisors, managers and others were present and witnessed the injury. With the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, you may be able to argue that your employer received “constructive notice,” meaning they were aware of the injury despite the lack of formal notice.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Each state sets forth a deadline for bringing your workers’ compensation claim. In Illinois, you can bring a claim before the Workers’ Compensation Commission up to the later of these dates:
- 2 years after the last payment you receive from work
- 3 years from the date of the injury
HOW A LAWYER CAN HELP
After a work injury, you need medical care, and you need it fast. You don’t want to delay treatment, as this could impact your ability to recover compensation. When you hire an experienced workers’ comp lawyer, right away you will be able to get step-by-step advice from attorneys who literally wrote the book on work comp in Illinois. We know that a work injury often means lost income and rising medical costs, so we aim to keep our fees affordable. Our firm never charges you for a consultation, and we take our time in order to get to know you and your case thoroughly. If we agree to help you, there will be no fee unless we are successful in recovering your work comp benefits.
To schedule a consultation, call our firm at (618) 726-2222, or just visit us online today.
by JAYE R. LINDSAY
One part combat veteran, one part former firefighter/EMT and truck driver, and 100% devoted to helping clients achieve the results they desire.
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