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What Can I Do if I Waited Too Long to File for Workers’ Compensation?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Rolling Meadows workplace injury attorney

If you have been injured while at work, you understand just how devastating it can be. You have likely built up significant medical costs, lost income because of your time spent away from work, and may not even be able to return to work due to the severity of your injuries. Depending on what state you work in, your workers’ compensation regulations will differ. In Illinois, there is a specific filing process and time limit in which this filing must be completed. Once this time limit is reached, you may be unable to make a workers’ compensation claim. However, with the help of a reputable attorney, you may be able to make a claim even after the time constraints have passed.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Process

If you have been injured at work, you must report the injury within 48 hours of its occurrence. This will allow the employer to investigate the incident and avoid any further accidents occurring due to the negligent conditions. Reporting the accident in a timely manner will also ensure that your injuries are properly recorded in their most serious severity, not weeks after it occurs and the injuries have begun to heal. You should then receive a medical exam regarding your injuries, even if they are not outwardly apparent. You may have sustained internal injuries depending on your accident. This medical visit will serve as documentation of your injuries from a medical professional. You will have three years to make an official workers’ compensation claim, though it is suggested that you do so as soon as possible. Your workers’ compensation claim can help cover any medical bills, lost time at work, and potentially ongoing expenses in regards to your medical treatment. 

Too Little Too Late?

Illinois specifically sets a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Illinois residents typically have three years from the accident date or two years from their final payment of compensation to file a case. If you attempt to make a claim later than these two different time limits, you will be unable to do so. However, there are some legal loopholes that may help with your case:

  1. Try contacting the medical providers on your case. There may be a small medical bill that has not yet been paid or collected on. If this is the case and your insurance company agrees to pay the bill, your two-year claim time clock restarts. You would then have another two years to make a claim, giving you some more time to contact a legal representative who can help.

  2. Are you still experiencing pain from the accident? It may be worth your time to contact your insurance company to see if they will authorize and cover a one-time doctor’s visit to take a look at the sustained pain. If your insurance company authorizes and covers the visit, your two-year time frame will reopen.

Contact a Schaumburg Workplace Injury Lawyer

Even if years have passed since your workplace accident, you may still have a viable workers’ compensation case. The strategies mentioned above are only two examples of how you can extend your case’s timeline; a reputable workers’ comp attorney will be able to provide you with more options. At Newland & Newland, LLP, our experienced legal team believes that employers should be held accountable for any dangerous conditions to which their employees may be subjected. For more information about filing a claim, contact our Palatine workers’ compensation attorneys at 847-797-8000 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/how-to-guides/pages/administerworkers%E2%80%99compensationclaim.aspx

https://www.workerscompensation.com/news_read.php?id=36733 

 

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