How long do you have to file a work injury claim in Illinois?
The very first requirement, which is limited by time following your injury, is the giving of notice to your employer within 45 days. Sometimes, but not always, employers refuse to take an accident report, and ask you to wait. Or, they may ask you to receive medical care, but to give a false history that your injury did not happen at work, but rather, somewhere else, or on your own time.
This is a red flag to you that your employer has no intention of playing fair with regard to what you’re entitled to under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, and should immediately alert you to retain experienced and competent counsel in the form of a lawyer.
The second time limitation has to do with how long you have to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission following an injury. This is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Illinois, this is three (3) years from the date of your injury or two (2) years from the date of your last compensation payment; this would include payment of a medical bill, or receipt of weekly wage replacement benefits.
The time for filing an application can be extended for other reasons, or what is referred to as a tolling of the statute of limitations. This is something for your lawyer—not you—to figure out, and contact immediately with an attorney will go a long way to preventing there being a defense because you didn’t give notice or you didn’t file the application for the work injury claim in time.
Do not delude yourself into believing that you can wait to file the claim. Anytime you are without counsel and you are conversing directly with the insurance company, they could be putting you into a corner with regard to the further receipt of any benefits.