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Five Steps You Should Take After You Are Injured at WorkAn injury can happen anywhere, at any time – even while you are at work. Though certain industries and professions can pose more of a risk to employees, any worker can be injured through a variety of ways. Work injuries can range from a superficial cut to loss of a limb and, in some cases, even death. The decisions that you make after you are injured at work can affect the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim, which is why it is important that you take the right steps. Here are a couple of steps that every injured worker should take if they have been hurt at work:

1. Report Your Injury Right Away

One of the first things you should do after you are injured at work is to report your injury to your employer. While it does not have to be the absolute first thing you do, it is imperative that you report your injury as soon as possible. You cannot file a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits if you do not report your injury.

2. Get Medical Attention

While getting treatment is obvious, the place you go to receive medical attention can impact the benefits you will receive from your workers’ compensation claim. In Illinois, some employers may have a Preferred Provider Program (PPP) in place, which is a list of physicians, specialists and other health providers that the employer has approved. If your employer does have a PPP, you must first choose a provider from the list to be seen. First aid and emergency care do not count as a provider and do not have to be from the PPP.

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Cook County workers' compensation benefits lawyerBeing injured while you are at work can be a stressful and worrisome situation. Not only are you suffering from a physical injury, but you are probably full of stress and uncertainty about how you will be able to earn money if you cannot work. Thankfully, Illinois requires almost all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. This is a type of insurance that is in place for these very situations -- if a worker is injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance will cover it. In Illinois, workers’ compensation covers three types of benefits: medical benefits, disability benefits, and death benefits. 

Medical Benefits

First and foremost, the basic intention of workers’ compensation insurance is to ensure that an employee’s medical care is taken care of in the event they are injured. In Illinois, your employer is required to pay for any and all medical expenses relating to an injury if you received the injury while at work. Expenses that are covered include:

  • Emergency care
  • First aid
  • Doctor’s visits
  • Hospital care
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Medication
  • Prosthetic devices

Disability Benefits

If you are injured so badly that you are unable to work, then workers’ compensation can help you out. Disability benefits come in a few different forms. Typically, benefits are awarded to you based on whether you are totally or partially disabled and if that disability is permanent or temporary. The four types of disability benefits are:

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Tinley Park workers' compensation lawyerThough some occupations may have higher injury rates than others, you can get hurt at work no matter what industry you work in. Workers’ compensation cases can be difficult and tedious, but it is important to note that the first 24 hours or so after your workplace injury are crucial. Taking the correct actions after being injured at work can make for a stronger workers’ compensation case, while taking the wrong actions could mean no case at all. Here are five things you should do after a work injury in Illinois:

1. Inform Your Employer About Your Injury

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act states that you should notify your employer about your injury as soon as possible. You are permitted to notify your employer orally or in writing, but writing is typically better, because you then have hard evidence that you notified your employer of your injury. The notice should contain information about your injury and the time and place where it was sustained. A general rule of thumb is that you should notify your employer about your injuries no later than 45 days after the incident.

2. Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible

Before you go to the doctor, try to contact your employer’s human resources department to inquire about any limitations the workers’ compensation insurance may have. Typically, you can choose which medical provider you can see, but your employer may have limitations. If your employer has a preferred provider program (PPP), you have the choice of two providers within the PPP. If your employer does not have a PPP, you have a choice of any two medical providers. 

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