I’m Injured at Work. What Do I Do?
The chaos which often follows a work-related accident or repetitive trauma manifestation may cloud the injured workers decision making process and judgment. At John Lesaganich, P.C., Attorney at Law we understand the physical pain and emotional turmoil our clients often feel following a work-related accident or discovery of a repetitive trauma injury. We respond with immediate and aggressive advocacy from the beginning.
An Illinois Workers’ Comp Lawyer with Knowledge of Reporting Requirements
The following is a checklist of things which should be done and things which should not be done during the early stages of a workers’ compensation case.
You have 45 days from the work-related accident and/or manifestation of repetitive trauma injuries to report your work-related injuries. Remember, the more time you put between the fact of the accident and/or manifestation of repetitive trauma injuries and the actual reporting of your injuries as work-related the more questions, criticism and skepticism you invite;
Insist that the reporting of the work-related accident or manifestation be accomplished in writing and, if at all possible, the injured worker should acquire a copy of the written accident report once completed. Remember, in some cases, particularly those sounding in repetitive trauma, that it may be wise to consult to with an experienced workers’ compensation trial lawyer before attempting to report work-related injuries. For, most injury reports do not seem geared towards the reporting of a repetitive trauma type injury since most reports which with our office has had familiarity seem limited to the reporting of accidents which are events traceable to a definite time, place and cause;
Remember you need to communicate your injuries clearly yet carefully. Simply put, if you are hurt, act like you are hurt. Do not tough it out. Communicate to your employer, company doctor and all medical providers accurate history of how you were injured, or the nature of your work resulting in repetitive trauma. Again, that information allows doctors to be effective witnesses at arbitration as they have a foundation for their opinions;
Seek reasonable and necessary related medical care as soon as you need it. And make it a point to communicate clearly and effectively to your first medical provider the facts of the work-related accident or the conditions of the employment which you believe qualify those duties as repetitive in nature such as to support a repetitive trauma claim;
Do not give a recorded statement to your employers workers’ compensation insurance company without first consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation trial lawyer;
You must cooperate with company doctor, but remember that you have the right to involve two doctors of your own choosing as part of your medical treatment pursuant to your work-related injuries. Typically, this would mean that you would initially go to your primary care physician for diagnosis, referral and/or scheduling of diagnostic testing such as MRI and EMG/NCV;
Remember that since the reporting of your claim, the adjuster from your employers workers’ compensation insurance company has had the benefit of legal counsel. So, do not deny yourself legal expertise and contact an experienced workers’ compensation trial lawyer who can assist you even before the somewhat difficult task of reporting a repetitive trauma type injury;
Remember that any stage during the handling of a workers’ compensation case the injured worker may be the subject of surveillance which is video performed by individuals retained by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. For, should such a video document capabilities which exceed those observed by a treating physician or IME physician or should such a video document capabilities beyond work restrictions then in effect such a video can be most harmful to the injured workers case.
The Need to Communicate Your Injuries Clearly, yet Carefully
Simply put, if you are hurt, act like you are hurt. Do not “tough it out.” Communicate to medical providers the clear and accurate history of how you were injured or the nature of your work resulting in repetitive trauma. That information allows doctors to be effective witnesses in arbitration as they have a foundation for an opinion.
However, try to avoid a recorded statement. A permanent record is risky and can be used as evidence in arbitration.
Contact our office or toll free to talk with attorney John Lesaganich about your workman’s comp benefits. At our office, initial consultations are always free and confidential. We are located on Main Street in downtown Peoria, across from the courthouse.