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Do I have an Illinois workers’ compensation case? We get a form of that question many times a day. Most of these questions come from people who are still employed. But what happens when you are injured on the job and then quit or get fired? Can you still bring a work comp case?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is it depends on the facts.
If you get hurt at work today when you crashed your truck, if you got fired over that you can still bring a case.
If you hurt your back six months ago, reported it, but never filed work comp and get fired or quit, you can still bring a case.
Same scenario, but you never reported it, you’d likely lose because you have to notify your employer within 45 days of an accident happening.
If it’s carpal tunnel or some other repetitive trauma case, you can file, but success will depend on how long after you left work you notified them and when you got medical treatment.
When you’ve never gone to the doctor or reported a problem and then quit or get terminated, it looks suspicious when you then raise the issue. It doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to win, but it’s surely an up hill battle.
There are some benefits you will lose out on if you quit. Mainly, if you are authorized off work with restrictions and have quit the job, you won’t get TTD benefits. On the other hand, if you are fired and have any restrictions, they have to pay you TTD until you are better.
We’ve seen some cases where workers have tried to bring up an issue many years after they’ve quit. In most of those cases it’s been too late.
Beyond all of this, when you quit you can lower the value of your case, so don’t quit if you don’t have to. If you get fired it could increase the value of your case.
Is this at all confusing? It probably is because every case is different. So to determine if you have a case we need to know what specifically happened to you.