Getting injured in an accident at work can turn your life upside down. If you are unable to work during your recovery, you will need to figure out a way to pay your medical bills and monthly expenses. Filing for workers’ compensation can provide some financial relief, but these benefits will not cover all of your injury-related losses.
If you have been injured at work, there are important steps you need to take to protect your right to financial compensation. You may be entitled to additional compensation beyond workers’ comp, but you will need to avoid these common mistakes in order to maximize your financial recovery:
Mistake #1: Not Reporting the Accident to Your Employer
After suffering an injury on the job, one of your first steps should be to report the accident to your employer. Not only is this a requirement to file for workers’ compensation; but, if you fail to report the accident, this can also make it more difficult to prove that your injuries are work-related.
Mistake #2: Not Seeking Medical Treatment Promptly
In Illinois, you are entitled to see your own doctor for treatment of your work-related injuries. You should see a doctor promptly; and, if you do not know where to go, you should seek a referral and not rely solely on medical advice from your employer’s or its insurance company’s list of “preferred” providers. Unfortunately, these doctors do not always have injured workers’ best interests in mind.
Mistake #3: Returning to Work Too Soon
While you may want to get back to work as quickly as possible, returning to work too soon could jeopardize your financial recovery. Follow your doctor’s advice, and consult your attorney if you are being asked to return to work before you are fully healed.
Mistake #4: Assuming that Reporting the Accident Could Risk Your Job
It is illegal for your employer to terminate your employment or take other adverse action because you flied for workers’ compensation. This is referred to as “retaliation,” and it is a very serious issue. If your employer has stated or implied that you could lose your job if you report your injury, you should speak with an attorney right away.
Mistake #5: Not Making Informed Decisions
Did you know that you can seek workers’ compensation even if you were not performing your specific job duties at the time of the accident? Did you know that you do not have to accept the insurance company’s determination of your “maximum medical improvement”? The more you know, the better you can protect your legal rights.
Mistake #6: Only Relying on Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. They do not provide coverage for all accident-related losses. To make sure you maximize your financial recovery, you should consult an attorney who handles workers’ compensation and personal injury claims.
Mistake #7: Discussing the Accident in Person or Online
When pursuing a claim for compensation, you should not discuss your case with anyone but your attorney. If you talk to your co-workers or post photos or comments online, the insurance companies will try to find a way to use your own words against you.
Talk to a Chicago Work Injury Lawyer in Confidence
Our attorneys provide experienced legal representation for injured workers in the Chicago area, and we do not charge any fees or costs unless we secure financial compensation. To discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation, please call (312) 795-9595 or contact us online today.