It’s 11-11.  My wish would be that injured workers in Illinois don’t get jerked around when there is no good reason to deny or delay their benefits.  Since I can’t wish that away, here are 11 tips for injured workers in Illinois that will hopefully help you.

  1. If you are drug tested after a work injury and fail, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a case. It just means you have to prove you weren’t inebriated when you got in to the accident or that taking drugs didn’t contribute to the accident. In other words, if you smoke pot on Saturday and get hurt at work on Monday, you should win your case.
  2. You do not have to give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster and should not give one.
  3. You also aren’t required to sign a medical release form that gives your employer or the insurance company the right to see medical records of any treatment you’ve ever had.  They only have a right to access medical records related to your actual injury.
  4. If you get Covid and work in the health care field or many other essential areas of work, it’s presumed you got Covid from the job and the insurance company would have to prove you didn’t.
  5. You are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits the minute you start working.  You don’t need to go through a waiting period and there is no difference in rights for part time workers vs full time workers. These are common insurance company lies.
  6. It’s against the law for a medical provider or collection agency to try and go after you for bills while you have an active Illinois work comp case.
  7. While the goal should be not to have to switch attorneys, it happens all the time and costs nothing.  Attorney fees can never exceed 20% of your settlement no matter how many lawyers you’ve had.
  8. The biggest factor in determining whether or not you will win a trial is credibility. That includes your testimony and that of the medical providers.
  9. The value of your settlement is based on a number of things including your wages, your injury, the treatment you’ve had, the treatment you will need, your age, what job you are able to return to and what continuing issues you have due to your injury.
  10. You have a right to choose your own medical provider. This is one of the biggest mistakes injured Illinois workers make. Your doctor will presumably look out for you.  The company doctor often looks out for them.  Exercise your rights and decide who you want to treat you.
  11. A dirty trick of insurance companies is to offer a settlement before you are done treating medically. We recommend you not even consider settling until you are all better. It’s dangerous for your health and will likely lead to you getting less than what you are entitled to.

I hope these tips help. As always, you can call us for free any time to speak with a lawyer or fill out our contact form and we’ll call you.