Injured workers in the state of Illinois have the right to compensation for their lost wages and their medical costs. The Illinois workers’ compensation system is designed to offer benefits in the aftermath of accidents, exposure to dangerous chemicals, repetitive trauma and other workplace hazards. Employees must prove that their claim is legitimate and caused by real medical needs. Providing medical evidence is an important part of the process.
What do I need to document?
The injured worker must document all of the following details in a workers’ compensation claim:
- The circumstances leading up to the injury
- Honest assessment of all pre-existing conditions
- Medical treatment given since the injury
- Testimony from treating physicians
- Short term and long term effects of the injury on daily activities
A work injury lawyer in Illinois is aware that people who keep track of this information are much more likely to succeed in their claims.
Strengthening a claim with medical information
Medical professionals are your allies in preparing a claim. All doctor visits and physical therapy sessions must be documented. A letter from the primary physician is crucial in determining temporary total disability, as a work injury lawyer in Illinois knows. Absence from work is not sufficient proof if a doctor does not confirm on paper that the worker is unable to carry out any duties.
Consequences of missing documentation
If medical documentation is absent or insufficient, a claim may be denied. According to current records kept by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 11 percent of cases are dismissed with no compensation of any kind. Many of these cases fail because of a lack of properly organized medical evidence.
Assistance during the appeal process
In some cases, a workers’ compensation claim is refused at the initial stage. The injured worker has the right under Illinois law to appeal his or her case. At this point, arbitrators and IWCC officials may ask for more detailed testimony from a doctor or physical therapist. Building a good relationship with medical providers can be crucial if a workers’ compensation case proceeds to a more complicated stage.
Workers’ compensation in Illinois is not automatic
Workers’ compensation is not an automatic privilege. The burden of proof is on the worker to show the extent of the disability. Detailed and honest medical information is required for a case to succeed. Injured employees who are struggling with a compensation claim might find it helpful to speak with a work injury lawyer in Illinois.