We are experienced Illinois work injury attorneys who will talk to you for free and give direct, honest advice. If you want our help fill out our contact form or call us at 312-346-5578. We cover all of Illinois.
I don’t know how to install drywall. I can be handy, but installing drywall is something I’ve never learned and wouldn’t be expected to know if I started talking to a contractor.
You aren’t a lawyer. So we don’t expect you to know the ins and out of Illinois workers’ compensation law. So wondering if you have a case or not is not a dumb question or anything you should be afraid to ask.
The danger with the law though is that many people will give you legal advice even though they aren’t lawyers. Maybe they watch a lot of TV shows. Maybe they have been in cases themselves. Maybe they like to read about the law. It’s not that they can’t be right, but more often than not they are either flat out wrong or missing crucial information.
I thought of this the other day when someone called me wanting to know if they had a case. Here’s what they asked me:
“I hurt my shoulder the second day on the job. My boss said I can’t file for workers comp because I haven’t been there long enough. Is that true?”
Usually when a boss says this I think they are trying to screw the worker for the benefit of the company, but in this case it turns out that the boss was in another State and believes that’s the law where he is.
For Illinois, the moment you start working you are covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Literally you could clock in, turn around and slip on water and tear your ACL and have a case before you’ve ever done any real work.
And if on the second day on the job you are lifting something and feel a severe pain in your shoulder as happened to this caller, you have a case as well.
Now on the other hand if you work for a day or two and allege that caused carpal tunnel or some other repetitive trauma type problem, you’d have a much harder time proving your case.
But don’t take legal advice from any non-attorney who tells you that you don’t have a case. They might be right, but there’s a huge chance that they are wrong. It costs nothing to ask an attorney, so ask and make an educated decision from there.