As a worker in Illinois, and any other state, you have the right to expect to work in a reasonably safe workplace. Sometimes injuries happen when an employer fails to ensure a healthy work environment for employees. It is also true that workplace injuries can happen even when your boss makes every reasonable effort to provide a safe environment for workers.
At Kirkpatrick Law Offices, P.C. we often help injured workers with every imaginable work injury including broken bones, occupational illness, aggravated pre-existing conditions and even psychological injuries as a result of workplaces and practices that have left them vulnerable.
Illinois, like every other state, has a workers compensation system designed to help workers in cases of injuries at work.
If I’m Hurt At Work How Can I Maintain My Rights?
Sometimes the first step to protecting your rights in a worker’s compensation case seems to be the hardest step. The first step is simply to be sure that you report your injury in a thorough, accurate and timely manner.
This can be difficult for the employee because most conscientious workers don’t want to “make a big deal” out of what might seem like a minor slip and fall or other injury. We often hear that injured workers didn’t want to be the one to “make a big production out of it” and so they did nothing until it was too late.
Just remember that by reporting any injury that happens at the work place you are acting responsibly. The fact that you are reporting what might seem like a minor injury could help your employer fix the problems on his end so that other workers won’t be hurt worse in the future.
When Should I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
After you have made your employer aware of your injury and provided the necessary report of the cause and possible extent of how you were hurt you may need to go further.
But, how will you know if you should take the next step?
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim is a formal way to protect the following rights guaranteed to you as an employee. These workers’ rights are generally uniform across most states:
- You have the right to file a claim for your injury in Workers’ Compensation Court.
- You have the right to seek the medical advice of a doctor and receive treatment.
- You have the right to return to work once you receive a medical release from your doctor.
- If you are permanently or temporarily disabled, you have the right to compensation.
- You have the right to appeal any decisions by your employer, your doctor or the Workers’ Compensation Court.
- You have the right to legal representation throughout the Workers’ Compensation Process.
You also have the right to refuse any offers made by your employer to avoid pursuing any of your above options.
For instance, if your employer makes any threats or suggestions that you should use your own medical insurance or that if you do not pursue a Workers’ Compensation Claim you will in some way be “better off,” you have the right to proceed with your Workers’ Compensation claim.
The state laws that surround workers’ compensation are in place to provide a clear path to workers being able to access their rights without fear of reprisal from their employer or industry.
Summing Up The First Steps In Filing For Workers’ Compensation
- Report any injury to your employer
- Create a Workers’ Compensation Claim if you need treatment or are in danger of losing wages or will incur expenses as a result of the work injury.
- Make an appointment with a workers’ compensation attorney
By taking these steps you are protecting your rights to work in a safe environment and continue to earn the wages important to you and your family.
Thank You for Visiting The Kirkpatrick Law Offices Website.
We understand that being injured at work or due to someone else’s actions creates exceptionally difficult circumstances for you. The impact of being hurt, out of work, unable to provide in so many ways for yourself and your family puts you in an extremely vulnerable position. We look forward to learning more about your particular circumstances and to lending our expertise to your case in aggressively pursuing a favorable outcome. We specialize in a variety of practice areas making it easy to receive the guidance you deserve.
Use the form on this page to contact The Kirkpatrick Law Offices. You may also call us at: (618) 239-6070
Kirkpatrick Law Offices
3 Executive Woods Ct,
Swansea, IL 62226
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The Kirkpatrick Law Office proudly serves clients as a personal injury lawyer in St Clair County, Illinois and a personal injury lawyer, coal mine injury attorney, industrial accident lawyer, workers compensation and construction accident lawyer in Belleville, Illinois and other areas of Southern Illinois including but not limited to Carbondale, IL, Goreville, IL, De Soto, IL, Murphrysboro, IL, Freeburg, IL, Coulterville, IL, Hecker, IL, Waterloo, IL, Sparta, IL, St. Clair County, IL, Madison County, IL, Johnson County, IL, Randolph County, IL, Clinton County, IL and other Southern Illinois locations.
We typically assist injured workers and people with neck injuries, back injuries, knee injuries, shoulder injuries, elbow injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, people requiring back surgery, coal mine injuries, union worker injuries, iron worker injuries, boilermaker, pipefitter and laborer injuries, those hurt as a result of construction accidents, road construction, semi-truck accidents, cell phone drivers, discrimination, warehouse injuries. We also help people hurt in nursing home injuries while lifting patients in nursing homes or other medical facilities.