What happens if my personal injury happened while on the job?

Workplace injuries can range from disfigurements to common repetitive injuries. The pain, treatment, and potential loss of income mean you’re now struggling with unexpected expenses on top of everything else. If your personal injury happened while on the job, you may be entitled to compensation.

However, being entitled to compensation doesn’t mean it’s simple or easy to get it. Here’s how to handle what happens if your personal injury happened while on the job. 


Seek Medical Attention

If needed, get emergency medical treatment.

If your injury doesn’t warrant immediate attention, check to see if your employer requires you to visit a certain doctor or practice. If that’s the case and you’re unhappy with the quality of care, you may be entitled to another medical opinion through workers’ compensation laws. 

Regardless of how your injury happened or how minor you think your injury might be, get medically examined as soon as possible. This will create official documents to support your claim and help to prevent the potential worsening of unknown injuries. 


Notify Your Employer

Illinois requires all employers who have at least one part-time employee to have workers’ compensation insurance. Coverage starts as soon as you’re hired.

Workers’ compensation insurance is there to protect your employer, not you. You must work with a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer who can guide you through the process and ensure you’re treated fairly. That’s why it’s important to work with experienced attorneys. Langdon & Emison has over 30 years of experience and has won more than $700 million in verdicts and settlements. 


What if I didn’t realize I was injured when I reported the accident?

If you immediately reported the accident to your employer and later discovered you were injured during it, update your employer. Once your employer knows about the injury, they can begin the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim with their insurance company. 


What if my employer isn’t insured?

If your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance or you were injured on the job during a period your employer wasn’t insured, you can sue them for unlimited damages in civil court through a personal injury lawsuit. 

Personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims differ in whether fault must be proved and what compensation you’re able to receive. The latter mostly covers lost wages, medical bills, and similar costs while the former allows you to recoup additional damages for issues such as pain and suffering. 

If uninsured, your employer may be fined or charged with a misdemeanor or felony.


What if I’m a contract worker?

Remember that your employer-designated status may not be correct in the eyes of the law. Many employers treat contract or freelance workers as full- or part-time employees, which may be enough to legally argue that you deserve the benefits of an official employee. 

If you’re not legally considered an employee of the workplace at which you were injured, you still may be able to seek compensation.


What if I’m a state or federal worker?

If you work for a local, state, or federal government agency, you still may be covered under workers’ compensation. However, there are different requirements and exceptions for this type of claim and employment. This is why you must work with an experienced Chicago, IL personal injury lawyer, like those at Langdon & Emison.


What if my injury was caused by a client or another third-party? 

If you were injured by a third-party at work, you may be able to seek additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.


Document Relevant Information

Take note of when you were injured, what you were doing, what happened in the immediate aftermath, if there were any witnesses, and any other relevant details. 

This information will be used to support your claim and also will be needed to formally alert your employer about the injury. Workers’ compensation claims are time-sensitive, so you need to report what happened as soon as possible. 


Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

What happens if a personal injury happened while on the job? You should be covered, but workers’ compensation cases are complicated, time-sensitive, and have few exceptions. That is why you must start working with an experienced Chicago personal injury law firm as soon as possible. 


How do I pick a personal injury lawyer?

You must work with experienced workers’ compensation attorneys that you can trust, which is why Langdon & Emison created this list of essential questions to ask when interviewing a personal injury attorney in Chicago.

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