You go to work every day having some degree of expectation for what your day will be like. But nobody knows when an accident will happen--that is why they are called accidents. Thankfully, the United States has a system in place to help those who have been injured on the job. The workers' compensation program allows injured workers to receive compensation for lost wages, have their medical bills relating to the accident paid, and receive disability pay if the accident results in temporary or permanent loss of earning capacity. In order to receive these benefits, you must follow guidelines to have your case submitted and approved. Knowing what steps to take after a workplace accident is crucial to getting benefits that are owed to you.
1. Get Medical Attention
This may seem obvious, but the way you go about getting treated for your workplace injuries can impact how your case is handled. Often, employers will have what is called a Preferred Provider Program (PPP) in which there is a network of approved medical providers that you can see. Within your employer’s PPP, you have the choice of two physicians. If your employer does not have a PPP, you have the choice of any two providers. If you decline to use providers in the employer’s PPP, you use one of your choices, and you can choose to go to any doctor or hospital, but any further change of providers must be approved by your employer.
2. Inform Your Employer of the Accident
After you have received immediate medical attention, you should notify your employer of your injury, which can either be in writing or orally. You should notify your employer as soon as possible, but not more than 45 days after the accident.
3. Tell Your Health Care Provider the Injury Was Sustained At Work
When you go to the doctor, you should tell them that the reason you are seeing them is because your injury occurred while you were working. You should make sure that the first medical note about the injury specifies that it was a work injury. This prevents your health care provider from sending bills to you rather than your employer, and it reduces the chances that the workers’ compensation insurance company will deny your claim.
4. Make Sure Your Employer Submits an Accident Report
After you have reported your injury to your employer, they are required to submit an accident report to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The accident report will contain information such as your personal information, what you were doing at the time of the accident, how the accident occurred, the injury that resulted from the accident, and how and when you were first treated for the injury. You should request a copy of the accident report and keep it for your records.
5. Keep Records of All Doctor Visits
The only thing you should have to do is follow your doctor’s instructions and get better. If it is found that you did not comply with your physician’s instructions, your benefits could be revoked, or you could face fraud charges. You should maintain a record of all of your doctor visits by keeping a journal or storing all of your visit summaries in one place.
6. Contact a Knowledgeable Aurora Workers’ Comp Lawyer
This can be one of the most important things that you can do when you are injured on the job. In some cases, the employer does not want to pay for the workers’ compensation, even if they should. If your employer refuses to pay your workers’ compensation benefits, you should immediately contact a tenacious Kane County workers’ compensation attorney. The lawyers at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. can help you get the benefits and compensation that you deserve. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.