A guy called the other day hoping to get some advice about a severance package his company had offered him as it was his understanding that was what workers’ compensation meant. After talking to him for a couple minutes, I discovered that he had a shoulder injury caused by repetitive trauma from his job activities. It was clear he should have filed a workers’ compensation claim. After I mentioned that, he said, “Oh, I couldn’t file a workers’ comp claim. They would never let me do that.”
I’ve heard a lot over the years, but never something like this. The biggest mistake a lawyer can make is to assume that a client or potential client knows the law. So with the hopes that nobody who reads my blog is uninformed about any issue, let me be clear. You DO NOT NEED PERMISSION to file for workers’ compensation.
This case was especially strange because he had been laid off since he could no longer perform his job duties. But no matter what the situation is, you don’t need permission to file a workers’ compensation claim. You just need to be able to show that you have an injury that was caused at least in part by your job duties.
Most employers we come across are great. Some are jerks and will try to create this impression that you aren’t allowed to file a case or shouldn’t file one. That’s them looking out for them. You need to look out for you. Filing a case isn’t a lawsuit, it’s just a claim for benefits so you can get the medical treatment you need without going broke and compensation for your time off work and the extent of your injury. It doesn’t cost anything to file or to hire a law firm.
To be clear, this isn’t special for job injuries. You don’t need permission from your spouse to file for divorce or from the person who hit you with their car to file a lawsuit. If you file something that’s frivolous you can be punished for that. But if you have a legitimate claim then you can and should proceed.
We are always looking to help good, honest people with their cases or to just answer questions. It’s why we created our Illinois wide network of lawyers who think the way we think, have a track record of great results and fight for their clients. If you’d like our help you can contact us at any time for free by filling out our online form or calling us at (312) 346-5578.