“What is the first thing I should do after a work injury in Illinois?”
There is a two-part answer to that question. Both things I am going to say should happen as quickly as possible after you are injured at work. If I only mentioned the first one, I would not be helping you. Both of these should happen asap after a work injury:
- Report your injury to your employer.
- Seek medical attention.
1.) Report your injury to your employer: After you are injured, verbally report your injury to your immediate supervisor or boss, and then do all you can to also create a written injury report (if possible), and ask for a copy of that report after it is created. Verbally reporting your injury is good, but a written injury report (and you keeping a copy of that report) is even better.
2.) Seek medical attention: Just as important as reporting your injury is that you seek medical attention for your injury, as soon as possible. The more time that passes between your work injury and your first medical care, and proper diagnosis, the more problems are created for your possible Illinois workers’ compensation case. If you are still within about 24 hours of your injury, then it is generally a great idea to seek some type of urgent medical care, such as an Emergency Room or Urgent Care Clinic. Note that “Occupational” Clinics do not always do a great job in giving you a full diagnosis (see our old post about this, “Occupational Clinics: Gatekeepers for Insurance Companies“), but if that is your only option, it is usually better than nothing, because you can document all your injury problems from your accident, if they at least properly make medical records about your visit. If you are more than 24 hours outside your work injury time, you can still consider these options, but, depending on how long it has been (and what kind of medical attention you may need), you may want to seek medical care another way, such as a specialist, or your primary care doctor, but you will need to be careful because under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured worker only has so many doctor choices (either only one choice or two, depending on your situation and if your employer has a “Preferred Provider Program”), and any more beyond that number of choices means that the doctors need to write referrals to the next one.
As you can see, it gets complicated, and attorney advice could help you in many ways. Every injured worker’s situation is different, and it’s best for you to seek FREE and private legal advice now, if you can. It is a FREE consultation: If you do not hire me, there is no fee. If you hire me, the fee is 20 % of what we collect for you, and if we do not collect for you, then there is no charge. Workers’ comp and personal injury attorney Peter D. Corti is one option for you for a free private talk at phone # (312)-782-8372, or contact me using our contact form (click here to contact us.)