Many injured workers wonder if they need to file a workers’ compensation claim. Injured workers are often hesitant to file a workers’ compensation claim for a number of reasons. For instance, the injured worker may fear employer retaliation for filing a claim or the injured worker may think that the workers’ compensation claim process will be a long, time-consuming, and painful process with several doctor visits.
While there is no requirement that injured workers file a workers’ compensation claim, quite frankly, there is no reason not to file a workers’ compensation claim. The following lists several reasons why employees shouldn’t be fearful of filing a workers’ compensation claim:
- Employers are prohibited from retaliating against you if you file a claim. State and federal law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for reporting injuries. Moreover, employers are prohibited from offering bonuses or prizes for meeting safety goals if those incentives deter employees from reporting workplace injuries. Prohibited retaliation includes: demotions, disciplinary actions, dismissals, salary reductions, hour reductions, shift reassignments, and changes in job responsibilities.
- Workers’ compensation benefits may be the only legal recourse you have against your employer. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act protects employers from civil liability in connection with workplace accidents and work-related injuries. Accordingly, if you do not file a workers’ compensation claim, you will not have any other legal recourse against your employer.
- A workers’ compensation claim does not prevent you from filing a legal claim against other negligent third parties. Although you are unable to file a lawsuit against your employer, you may take legal action against any other third-party that might have been responsible for your work-related injuries. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident while on the job, you may be able to recover personal injury damages from the negligent motorist in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. Similarly, if you were injured as a result of defective machinery, you may be able to recover money damages from the equipment manufacturer in a product liability lawsuit along with workers’ compensation benefits.
- You are entitled to reimbursement for expenses associated with claim-related doctor visits. Employers can require that you undergo an independent medical exam, provided that the employer provides you with sufficient notice of the doctor visit, pays for the doctor visit, and reimburses you for your travel expenses to the doctor visit.
- A skilled Illinois workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the claim process so that it is as efficient as possible. The law firm of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca has decades of experience helping injured workers obtain maximum financial recovery after a workplace accident or work-related injury, including workers’ compensation benefits, union benefits, and any available personal injury damages. We will advise you of your legal rights and guide you through the entire claim process so that you can recover the benefits you deserve as quickly as possible.
If you suffered a work-related injury, you may be hesitant to file a workers’ compensation claim but there is no reason not to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Our dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help you every step of the way. Contact us at (800) 444-1525 for a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers.