A statement I hear a lot from injured workers is that “I’m not the suing type.” That’s alright because Illinois workers’ compensation claims aren’t lawsuits, they are claims for benefits you are entitled to. So just like you wouldn’t feel bad using your company’s health insurance if you or a family member got sick, you shouldn’t feel bad using their work comp insurance if you get hurt on the job.
Despite this, I do come across workers that “feel bad” for getting work comp when they are hurt. If they didn’t take it, they’d be off work without pay and have nobody to pay their medical bills. In other words, feeling bad could cause them to go bankrupt, go homeless, etc.
Often an employer will take advantage of these types of employees by promising to take care of things themselves. In 95% of the cases I’ve seen, they look out for themselves and do little to nothing.
In one case we were recently contacted on, an employer for two years has been telling a worker with a bad arm injury that they will cover the bills. Two years and nothing has been paid and now this worker is being sent to collections. It’s nuts and quite honestly cruel on the employer’s part.
The good news is that the simple solution of pursuing benefits is usually enough to right the wrong when the facts are on your side. By that I mean if it’s clear you were hurt at work and your need for treatment is related to that accident, you should be able to get work comp benefits. The danger of waiting on your boss, aside from going bankrupt or getting sued for unpaid bills, is that if their insurance company isn’t aware of the accident they will likely fight having to pay if the delay has been long.
While I understand the mentality of the “not the suing type” people, they really have to look out for themselves at some point. If they don’t, nobody else will. And I’m not the suing type either. I haven’t sued anyone for myself in almost two decades. And it’s not because I haven’t felt wronged. At some point though you have to draw a line in the sand and stick up for yourself. It costs nothing to make a claim for Illinois work comp benefits. A lawyer to protect you costs nothing upfront too. At the very least, you should get a consultation to know what your rights are and make an educated decision.
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