Common Challenges Employees Face When Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Suffering a work-related injury is the last thing any worker wants to happen to them. A work-related injury can cause financial hardships, especially if you must take time off work to recover. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system is in place to help employees who suffer injuries while on the job. In Illinois, workers’ compensation coverage can help pay for your medical expenses and replace most of your lost wages. Additionally, if your injury is severe enough to cause a temporary or permanent disability, you can recover disability benefits.
However, going through the workers’ compensation claims process is not a walk in the park. You may encounter several challenges, which can impact your chances of getting your workers’ compensation claim approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. Below, we discuss some of the most common challenges employees face when filing a workers’ compensation claim.
#1: Affording an Attorney
One of the biggest challenges injured employees face is thinking they cannot afford to hire an attorney. Many injured employees choose to handle their workers’ compensation cases alone because they believe they cannot afford attorney fees. What you may not know is that most, if not all, workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that an attorney only gets paid if and after they recover benefits for a client. If the attorney does not recover compensation for you, you don’t owe them anything.
#2: No Witnesses
Having witnesses who can corroborate your version of events is crucial for your workers’ compensation case. If no one can verify your version of events, it can make the process challenging. Therefore, it is vital that, if you suffer an injury while at work and no witnesses are present, you immediately inform your co-workers, supervisors, and managers. However, even in a case where there are no witness testimonies to help you prove your case, a qualified attorney can help you gather alternative evidence.
#3: Medical Records and the Incident Report Do Not Match
The incident report and medical records are vital to your workers’ compensation claim. It is crucial that there are no inconsistencies between your medical records and the incident report. If there are inconsistencies, your claim may be denied. When speaking to your employer, manager, supervisor, or doctor, ensure you don’t change the version of events.
#4: Being Laid Off or Fired
Being laid off or fired before you have filed your workers’ compensation claim can pose a great challenge. You can trust that if you file your claim after you have been fired or laid off, the employer will view your act as revenge. For this reason, it is best to file your workers’ compensation as soon as possible to prevent the employer from firing or laying you off before you have filed the claim.
#5: Communication Problems
For example, there may be communication problems between the injured employee and their attorney or the insurer. Such issues can cause delays in the recovery of compensation.
It is crucial that before you hire an attorney, you ensure they are good communicators.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury in Illinois, contact our experienced Chicago workers’ lawyer at Connolly Injury Law to get help with your workers’ compensation claim.