As someone who spends eight hours a day (or more) in an office, you probably do not often think about the risk of suffering a job-related injury. Your work environment is relatively low-risk, your job does not require much (if any) physical exertion and your biggest concern is finishing your work in time to get home for dinner.
But, despite the relatively low-risk nature of office work, job-related injuries among office workers are still common. In fact, back pain is among the most-common injuries that cause employees to miss time from work, and lifting injuries, slips and trips, and carpal tunnel syndrome are all common injuries for office workers as well. So, if you have been injured at work, you are not alone. But, what does this mean (if anything) for your legal rights?
Office Workers Can File for Workers’ Compensation
In Illinois, office workers have the same right to claim workers’ compensation benefits as employees in all other occupations and vocations. While you may not be at risk for falling from scaffolding or being injured by a piece of heavy machinery, you can still get hurt at work, and you still deserve to be fairly compensated if you get injured on the job. Workers’ compensation covers all work-related injuries (with only very limited exceptions), including those that are not specifically related to the performance of your job. As a result, office workers will typically be entitled to benefits for injuries from accidents such as:
- Lifting boxes, files or other heavy objects
- Being struck by a falling storage box or other object
- Falling down the stairs
- Slipping in the bathroom, cafeteria or lobby
- Developing lower back pain or wrist pain over time
What Do You Need to Prove Your Case?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in Illinois. This means that you do not need to be able to prove that your employer is responsible for your injury. If you got injured at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation, and your employer cannot deny your claim on the basis that it had nothing to do with the accident.
But, there are still steps you need to take in order to collect the benefits to which you are legally entitled. Most importantly, you should see a doctor right away. You are entitled to choose your own doctor in Illinois, and you should try to get into your doctor’s office as soon as possible. Without a doctor’s diagnosis, your employer’s insurance company will almost certainly deny your claim, and you will have no way of knowing the costs of your work-related injury.
When seeking benefits for a work-related injury, it is best to work with an experienced attorney. There are costly mistakes you need to avoid, and you may be entitled to compensation outside of the workers’ compensation system as well. If you have medical bills or are unable to work due to your injury, an experienced work injury lawyer will be able to resolve your case as quickly as possible.
Were You Injured at Work in Chicago? Call or Click for a Free Consultation
If you were injured at work in Chicago, our attorneys can help you seek compensation for your injury-related losses. To learn more in a free and confidential consultation, please call (312) 795-9595 or request an appointment online today.