Don’t Miss These Critical Workers’ Compensation Deadlines
Workers who sustain injuries while on the job in Illinois can recover benefits that can help pay for their medical expenses and replace their missing wages. However, this is only possible if an employee follows Illinois’s protocol for applying for workers’ compensation benefits and doesn’t miss a deadline. Below, we discuss two crucial workers’ compensation deadlines that injured workers in Illinois should not miss.
Deadline #1: The Deadline for Reporting Your Injury to Your Employer
Like many other states, Illinois’s workers’ compensation statute imposes an exact number of days in which an injured worker must report their injury to their employer. In Illinois, injured employees must report their injuries to their employer within 45 days of the accident or when they first learned about the injury. If you take longer than 45 days to report your work injury to your employer, your employer’s insurer may argue that you suffered your injury in a different incident. Or your employer’s insurance company may argue that your injury worsened because of your decision to wait so long. Whatever argument the insurance company raises, they could have a solid argument, so you should avoid waiting to report your work injury to your employer. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, tell your employer about it as soon as possible.
Deadline #2: The Deadline for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In Illinois, reporting a workplace injury and filing a workers’ compensation claim are two different things. Also, you should know that it is not the job of employers to file workers’ compensation claims, nor do insurance companies file workers’ compensation claims for employees. You need to file your claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). Fortunately, an attorney can help you file your claim.
The Illinois workers’ compensation statute imposes an exact number of years in which an injured employee can file a workers’ compensation claim with the IWCC. According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, in most cases, the application of workers’ compensation benefits must be made within three years after the date of the accident if no compensation has been paid or within two years of the date of the last payment of compensation (usually TTD benefits), whichever is later. Often, an employee can assume that they will have at least three years from the date of the accident to file a workers’ compensation claim.
While you may have three years to file a workers’ compensation claim, it is best to file your claim as soon as possible. You may lose crucial evidence if you wait to file your workers’ compensation claim. Also, if you wait too long to file your claim, witnesses, such as co-workers, may forget what they saw or heard. If you’ve suffered a work injury, contact a skilled workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible, so you can start working on your claim.
How Long Will My Case Take?
Regarding how long your workers’ compensation case will take, it depends. Your medical condition will highly impact how long your claim takes. Often, a workers’ compensation case ends soon after an employee finishes treatment or is released by their treating physician. Depending on your injury’s severity, this could be a few months or several years.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve sustained a work injury in Illinois and need help seeking the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, contact our skilled and dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Law.