If you get hurt at work, you might need to file for workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp is insurance that the State of Illinois requires for most employers. It provides coverage that might help both you and your employer if you get hurt on the job. If you have to file a claim, you might wonder how to do so. Let’s explore the process a little more closely.
Workers’ comp is a carefully-regulated industry. Filing an claim will likely involve you, your doctor, your lawyer, the state and your employer. Each party will complete different tasks involving the others. To honor a claim, you must follow the process accordingly.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation developed for a variety of reasons. First, it ensures employees injured at work can avoid harmful financial ramifications. Coverage can help them pay medical bills and receive an income during their recovery. That helps them avoid problems from an accident they likely couldn’t avoid.
Furthermore, it helps employers avoid ramifications for accidents that happened on their watch. By filing a claim, employees won't have to sue for compensation, in most cases. Therefore, the company's own solvency and reputation can remain intact.
You Get Hurt, What Next
Workers’ compensation policies require a filing process. Most do so to ensure the employee receives adequate compensation. However, the process also makes sure the employer doesn’t suffer unfairly. In other words, it helps the employer avoid fraudulent claims on their policy.
So, if you, as an employee, want to file a workers’ compensation claim, take these steps, at minimum:
- Report the incident to your employer. They can then provide you with their workers’ compensation insurance information. You’ll often work with the insurer, not your management, for the rest of the claim.
- If necessary, retain an attorney. They can argue your case before the insurance company or workers’ compensation board.
- In most cases, you will have to see a physician. They will document the injury and send certain information to the insurer. Sometimes, you can see your own doctor. However, you might have to see a doctor approved by the insurer.
- Contact the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. You will file your claim through the commission. The commission will then help you manage your case until you receive the claim.
Keep in mind, in some cases, you will not qualify for workers’ compensation. This might limit your ability to file a claim, or trigger a rejection of the claim. For example, most claims limit the time in which an injured employee can file for benefits.
By filing a claim, you likely will not face any ramifications at work. The claim negotiations occur between you and the insurance company. Your employer, therefore, likely won’t play any role besides maintaining the policy.
Also Read: Take Note of the Common Injury Liabilities in Stores