“Could my injury or medical problem be a workers’ comp case in Illinois?”
Short answer: If you think your injury or medical problem could be connected to your job in any way, such as a specific accident or repetitive trauma / repeated actions (injury happened over time), then yes, it is possible that you could have a work comp case in Illinois. Many injured workers have good instincts about having a work comp case.
Full answer: If you are not sure if you have a work comp case, then I suggest you seek professional help right away, and here are two key things you will need:
1.) A medical professional / doctor, who can diagnose your injury or problems, and also document the connection to your job. The more qualified and reputable the doctor, the better your chance of building a case to be accepted and paid for by a work comp insurance company. Warning: Not all doctors are strong supporters of injured workers. There are some doctors and doctor groups who lean more toward the side of work comp insurance companies, and do a lot of well-paying, great income source IME’s or Independent Medical Exams (for more info about those exams, see this post about IME’s.) You will not be able to know this by looking at their experience and educational backgrounds, no matter how impressive it may be.
2.) An experienced workers’ compensation attorney, to at least give you a FREE and private consultation, to help guide you and give you advice about the steps you need to take, and the dangers you need to watch out for along the way. One danger is you should NOT give a RECORDED STATEMENT to the insurance company, no matter what they tell you (see my post about recorded statements at this link). You do NOT have to do that, and they only do it to use against you / try to deny your claim. A second danger is you only have so many doctor choices in Illinois work comp (either one or two, depending on if your employer has a “preferred provider program”), and any doctors beyond that amount need to be referred to by the first doctor or doctors. There are many other things that a work comp attorney should advise you about before you go into the minefield that is workers’ comp in Illinois.