I have the pleasure of talking to so many people every month. There are so many great questions that we get. One of them is a variation on, “What is the best thing I can do if I’m hurt while working?”

The number one thing you can do if you are hurt at work and want to bring a work comp case is to get medical treatment as soon as possible. So many workers try to “tough it out” and avoid going to the doctor. I get it, I don’t like going to the doctor either. So instead, they take a lot of Advil and do the best they can until the pain becomes unbearable.

Sometimes this plan works, but far too often it doesn’t. What ends up happening in a month or more after they are hurt, they go to the doctor for the first time.

This doesn’t prevent them from having a work comp case, but they could be screwing themselves. It has the potential to create a defense for the insurance company or in the very least cause them to say they are investigating your case in order to delay or deny your work comp benefits.

The longer you wait to go to the doctor, the easier it is for the insurance company to argue that if you were really hurt you would have gone to get medical help and since you didn’t it must be due to something else.

There are other ways you can screw yourself and create a defense for them. Ignoring doctors instructions is another big one. If you get told not to lift anything above 5 pounds and then get caught bowling, your case is likely dead or at least very limited. If the doctor tells you to go to physical therapy and you blow it off, that also creates a defense.

You can’t be made to have surgery and always have the right to a second opinion, but otherwise you can’t ignore what your doctor tells you to do and hope to win benefits.

Generally speaking, lying is the other big way people hurt themselves in Illinois workers compensation cases. That can mean embellishing injuries or lying about how an accident happened. Cameras are everywhere these days so if you say you got hurt one way and video shows it was another way, winning a case will be very difficult.

If you have any questions about a case or want to speak with an attorney, call us any time at 888-705-1766.