Illinois workers’ compensation law is designed to help injured employees pick up the pieces after an accident on the job. This valuable system is an important safety net for workers and their families. Unfortunately, it does not always function in a smooth and trouble-free manner. Many workers’ compensation claims in Illinois are denied every year. By avoiding these four common mistakes, workers can increase the chance of a successful claim.
- Lying about pre-existing conditions
Many employees do not tell the whole truth about pre-existing conditions when they file a claim for workers’ compensation. A pre-existing condition is not always a hindrance to benefits. In some cases, the condition may even help the person gain benefits, as a McHenry worker comp attorney knows. Concealing it, lying about it or exaggerating it is an easy way to have a case thrown out. Employees should remember that they have the right to compensation in all of the following situations:
- Relapse of a pre-existing medical condition after a work accident
- Intensification of a pre-existing condition that leads to disability
- A condition that is aggravated through trauma on the job
In such cases, it is crucially important to tell the whole truth in the workers’ compensation claim.
- Discussing a case in inappropriate circumstances
Talking about a case on social media or among friends can have serious consequences. Many injured workers lose their claims because of indiscretion. A forklift operator in the Chicago area was recently denied temporary partial disability benefits after bragging about his athletic prowess on social media. A McHenry worker comp attorney knows from experience that injured employees should speak discreetly about their case.
- Failing to notify the employer
Injured workers must tell their employers about their injuries. Even if an accident is embarrassing or caused by employee negligence, the employer must be notified in detail. Failure to carry out this step within 90 days will result in refusal of benefits.
- Not seeking proper medical treatment
After a workplace injury, employees may be reluctant to seek medical treatment because of worries about expenses or possible retaliation. This is a dangerous mistake. Written testimony from a doctor is often required for a case to proceed to the next level. If there is no evidence of medical treatment, the case may be dismissed without proper compensation. According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, approximately 5,000 claims are rejected every year. Many rejections involve lack of proper medical testimony.
Applying for Illinois workers’ compensation can be a difficult process. For people who have been hurt on the job, talking with a McHenry worker comp attorney may provide some help.