We recently had a phone call with a guy who had been injured on the job in 2019 when a box fell on his head. He went to the doctor right away and told his employer about it two days later. He was eventually diagnosed with a concussion and a small facial fracture.
Unfortunately, he never hired a work comp attorney and in this case, it’s too late to bring a claim. The reason he didn’t do it was because his employer told him that the security cameras in the area he was doing his job weren’t working. They said that because he was working alone and they couldn’t verify what happened, they weren’t able to give him work comp benefits.
Sadly, he listened to them and didn’t come to us until 2023 after a friend suggested he look into it. The statute of limitations for filing a case in Illinois is blown and since a bill hasn’t been paid related to his case in the last two years, we can’t get around the time limits.
The worst part is that the employer lied to him. You don’t need a witness or video camera surveillance in order to bring a work comp case. All you have to do is report an accident or injury and see a doctor. Illinois work comp is a no-fault law and it doesn’t require you to prove negligence or have a witness.
Does this open up the possibility that someone could lie and say they were hurt at work when they weren’t? I guess, but I don’t ever see that happen. If you did that you’d be committing felony insurance fraud. That and the fact that most people are good is why this doesn’t happen. And no lawyer I know would represent someone they caught lying about getting hurt at work.
The big takeaway from this is to never ever take legal advice from your employer or the work comp insurance company. They aren’t looking out for you and don’t care about you, even if they act like they do. In this case, it cost this worker payment of tens of thousands of medical bills and probably a tax-free settlement worth more than $25,000. He also didn’t get paid for his time off work.
We are always happy to discuss with you if you have a case or not. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time.