An Illinois employer may be required to provide a hurt worker with compensation if that worker's injuries occurred while they were at work or while they were performing work-related tasks. However, if that employer is never told about the worker's injury then they may never have cause to begin providing that individual with benefits. In essence, a worker's ability to collect workers' compensation benefits does not begin until they report their workplace harm to their employer.
A worker may elect to wait before informing their employer of workplace injury because they may not initially believe that their harm is severe. However, this practice can be damaging to a person's chances of later getting workers' compensation. This is because it may be harder to prove that their initial harm was caused by their engagement in work-related tasks and not from a secondary, non-work cause.
If a worker does not report an injury then they may not get workers' compensation benefits, and if they wait to report an injury then they may not get benefits if it cannot be shown that their job was the cause of their suffering. It is therefore a good practice for workers to immediately inform their employers of their injuries so that there is no delay in the processing of their workers' compensation claims.
After a worker has told their employer about their injury and has sought medical assistance, they may also want to seek legal counsel. An attorney can be a valuable asset during a workers' compensation claim against one's employer to help the worker ensure that their employer does not mistreat or retaliate against them due to their filing of a claim for workers' compensation benefits.