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When Should I Report a Work-Related Injury: A Practical Approach

Worker suffering from an injury at work

or fill out the Contact Form

The simple answer: immediately! The sooner, the better. Most employees do not realize
that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act requires an injured worker to report their injury
within 45 days from the accident date or the “manifestation” date for repetitive trauma injuries,
like carpal tunnel syndrome. Claiming to not know of the 45-day notice requirement will not
make your workers’ compensation case compensable under the law.

An injured employee must report their injury to their employer within 45 days, but it is
best to report an accident that occurred on the job immediately. The sooner an incident report is
made, the better. If an injured employee waits 44 days and then reports the injury, it does not
necessarily mean that their claim will be denied, but it does create doubt and leads to further
investigation regarding how the injury occurred and why it was not reported sooner. The
insurance company will not hesitate to deny a claim and waiting to give notice only makes it
more challenging. Insurance companies will claim that the injury arose from something other
than working on the job, which is why the best option is to report it as soon as an accident occurs
or contact a lawyer immediately for guidance.

Reporting an injury at work is not required to be on paper; however, the responsibility to
report is with the injured worker. Even though you may tell your employer about the injury that
occurred, they may or may not file an incident report. It is always best to take matters into your
own hands when you get injured on the job and even if you are not sure about filing a workers’
compensation case, you should still report the injury no matter what. It does not hurt, and it will
be there if needed. Notifying your coworker of the injury is not adequate; you must notify a
supervisor, manager, foreperson, or someone with authority in management, like human
resources. It is helpful to have a coworker as a witness when reporting an injury in the event the
employer denies timely notice.

If an employee is injured on the job and seeks immediate medical treatment following the
work injury, a work status report outlining whether they can work must be given to the employer.
A work status report can be used as a notice so long as the treating physician makes note that this
is related to a work-related injury, but a formal report is best. Filing an incident report does not
automatically mean that the accident was reported to the workers’ compensation carrier, but it
will make your claim for benefits much more solid. When proper notice is provided, it sets the
case up for success.

For more information, or to discuss your specific workplace injury with an experienced
Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer, contact Strom Yen Injury Attorneys today. Let our
attorneys assist you with reporting a work-related injury and fight for the benefits you rightfully

Lona Sayej

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As the founder of the firm, Neal has devoted his life to working for the worker. His achievements are numerous and beyond reproach. He is most proud of his work in helping clients obtain valuable benefits, such as a wheelchair ramp to his home or lifetime medical care.

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