I had a really upsetting call recently. A really nice paramedic sustained a very bad concussion after falling on ice at work. There is no dispute that he was injured on the job and while performing his job duties. He went to the hospital right away and was taken off works for two weeks. He was also told to follow up with a neurologist within two weeks.

He unfortunately works in a really small town. He went to his boss and asked about filing a workers compensation claim and was told that they don’t do that.  The worker persisted but the boss said that under no circumstances would he give permission for a workers comp case to be pursued.  So this EMT used the knowledge he had to treat himself, but hasn’t gotten any better after a few months. He has blurry vision, trouble focusing and light sensitivity.  These are classic signs of a serious concussion.

While we hopefully can help, serious damage has likely been done due to the long delay in treatment. And it shouldn’t be that way because under Illinois law you don’t need permission from your boss or anyone to file for workers’ comp. They don’t “let you” file, you just file.  If they are being difficult you get an attorney to formally file the case for you, but in no way should treatment be delayed or denied because some jerk boss has a god complex or cares more about the company than they do about your health.

This case is especially sickening because it’s clearly a legitimate case and it involves a brain injury. The boss in this case understands science and knows the importance of timely medical care. His lying to his employee is gross and dangerous behavior.

What the boss should have done is completed an incident report as required by law and reported the claim to their insurance company. After that he should have nothing to do with anything related to this case or this person’s medical care.

The bottom line for you or any other Illinois worker is that you don’t need to seek permission to get the benefits you are entitled to under Illinois workers’ compensation law. The law grants you rights including payment for all medical bills at a doctor of your choice and compensation for your time off of work. If you need assistance with those rights or have any questions about the law, call us for free at (312) 346-5320 or fill out our contact form and we will call you.