Because on-the-job injuries impact a worker’s livelihood, they can be especially stressful and burdensome. Fortunately, nearly all employers, including those in the building trades, are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
There are plenty of employers who handle workers’ compensation claims without any dispute. Unfortunately, not all employers treat their employees fairly – or lawfully. Some employers attempt to minimize an injured worker’s benefits. Others outright deny legitimate claims. In many cases, workers are unaware of their rights and receive less than the full compensation they deserve. By taking certain steps after an on-the-job injury, workers can protect their important legal rights.
Steps to Take after a Workplace Accident
The hours and days following an accident can be chaotic. Understandably, most people hurt on the job are worried about getting better and getting back to work. This can cause them to overlook important things, such as documenting the injury and notifying their supervisor as soon as possible.
Here are the steps you should take after any work injury:
Report the Injury
Report the injury to your supervisor or manager as soon as possible. If you first become aware of your injury over the weekend or after work hours, contact any available supervisors to inform them that you have suffered a workplace injury. The longer you wait, the harder it is to prove your case.
If at all possible, take photos to document the incident. Begin gathering evidence as soon as possible after your injury occurs. If you have a cell phone or smartphone with a camera, take photos of your injuries and your surroundings.
Document What You Were Doing
You should also document what you were doing when the injury occurred. Make note of the details surrounding your accident, including the time of day, any tasks you were performing, the equipment you were operating, and any symptoms you experienced.
Seek Medical Treatment
Your health and well-being are your first priorities. Seeing a doctor is also important for your case, as it allows your physician to begin documenting your injuries and symptoms. Be specific about your injuries and the accident when you speak to your doctor; give a detailed timeline of the incident as well as your injuries. Also, if you need immediate medical attention, you should go to the nearest emergency room.
Under Illinois law, injured workers are allowed to treat with up to two doctors of their choice; however, if your employer has an approved “Preferred Provider Program” (“PPP”), you only get one choice of a doctor outside the program. If an injured worker exceeds his or her number of choices (one choice if the employer has a “PPP”, two if the employer does not), then the employer will not be held responsible for payment of any medical bills that arise from any of the additional choices of medical providers. Thus, it is important to contact one of Anesi Ozmon’s experienced workers’ compensation attorneys regarding your entitlement to medical treatment.
To learn more about what medical benefits you are entitled to under the Workers’ Compensation Act, please review our Injured on the Job booklet or call (312) 779-6610 to speak to one of Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd.’s workers’ compensation lawyers.
New OSHA Rule Requires Employers to Report More Injuries
Beginning in January, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will require employers to report a broader range of work injuries on the agency’s website. Currently, OSHA only requires employers to report workplace accidents that result in three or more worker hospitalizations.
Under the new rule, employers must file an online report within 24 hours any time a worker is hospitalized due to a workplace injury. The new rule also requires employers to file a report for work-related accidents that result in amputation or the loss of an eye. According to OSHA head David Michaels, the stricter reporting requirements will make companies more transparent and accountable regarding workplace injuries.
Fighting for Illinois Workers
At Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd., we have been on the side of injured Illinois workers for more than 55 years. For more information about the rights and benefits available to injured workers in Illinois, see our booklet: Injured on the Job? Call today at (312) 779-6610 to speak to one of our Illinois Workers’ Compensation lawyers about your case.
This website has been prepared by Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.