In Illinois, just about anyone with a job is eligible to receive workers’ compensation if they are injured or made ill at work. Even office staff sometimes uses workers’ compensation after an accident like a slip-and-fall. However, if you are in a dangerous career with a high risk of injury, you may use workers’ compensation several times throughout your career. People in high-risk professions include electricians, construction site workers, and some healthcare professionals. When you are in a high-risk profession, it is best that you understand the workers’ compensation process and know how to respond to a workplace injury before anything happens.
Do’s and Do Not’s for High-Risk Employees
If you are in a dangerous profession, there are a few rules of thumb you should keep in mind when it comes to workplace safety and handling a workplace injury. General do’s and do not’s for high-risk workers include:
Do use PPE – Use any personal protective equipment your employer provides. This may include gear like safety goggles and hard hats on a construction site, or N95 masks and smocks in a hospital setting. This gear can reduce the severity of harm, and heads off accusations that you were careless about your own safety.
Do not fear retaliation – Employers are very strictly forbidden from retaliating in any way, shape, or form against an employee who reports a workplace injury and claims Workers’ Compensation.
Do report immediately – Inform your supervisor the second you have been injured or realize that you have become ill due to a workplace hazard. Waiting a few days to see if the injury gets better on its own could hurt your claim. If possible, your employer should be informed before you seek medical attention.
Do not settle on your own – Many employers will try to quickly offer a settlement before sweeping the accident under the rug. Always speak with a lawyer before accepting a settlement.
Do be wary of case managers – Your employer may want to assign a nurse case manager. This person is not on your side. Assume that any information you give her can be used against you.
Do not sign a medical release – You may be asked to sign a form to release all your medical records to your employer. This can lead to what lawyers call a “fishing expedition,” where they will dig through your medical information looking for anything they can use against you.
The best thing to do is contact a lawyer as soon as you possibly can after a workplace injury.
Call a Kane County Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured at work, Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. can offer you top-quality legal representation as we pursue your claim. Our experienced Aurora Workers’ Compensation lawyers will fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve after getting hurt at work. Contact us at 630-907-0909 for a free consultation.