When you’ve been injured at work, many things occupy your mind. “Will I ever get better?” “How am I going to pay for my medical and personal bills?” “Will I get fired if I can’t work?” “Is my injury covered by workers’ compensation?” The number of issues which arise can be incredibly overwhelming, especially when you consider the complicated network of employment and workers compensation laws and procedures that surround such an injury. Therefore, workers often seek out the guidance of an attorney to ensure they are protected when such an injury occurs. When meeting with your attorney, it’s important to provide them with information vital to the case. By arriving at your first meeting with all the pertinent documents and facts surrounding your injury, you can help to both expedite and ensure the success of your case.
When meeting with your workers’ compensation lawyer, you should provide:
- Your vital information -- name, address, contact numbers and email addresses
- Your employer’s basic information -- name of company, work address, contact numbers, supervisor’s name and contact number
- Insurance information -- name and contact information of workers’ compensation insurance provider
- Employment information -- date of hire, position title, job description, current and last year’s salary, benefits
- Injury event information -- date and time injury occurred; description of injury; how injury occurred; where injury occurred; any equipment being used when injured; names of witnesses; name of supervisor on duty at time of injury; name of supervisor/human resources representative you reported the injury to
- Employer response to injury event -- ex. how employer/supervisor/HR rep responded to your injury, medical assistance provided immediately following the injury, instructions provided after injury
- Documentation of injury -- copies of work reports related to injury; copies of medical reports; names and contact information of all doctors visited; copies of medical bills
- Injury treatment -- date and list in chronological order the doctors visited, any tests, treatments, instructions and/or medications provided at each visit, as well as the effect of those visits on your injury
- Personal medical history -- list any past injuries at work; list any current and past injuries and/or medical issues not related to work
- Effect on work -- time away from work due to injury; date expected to return to work; type of work you will perform on return (regular or light-duty, reassignment, etc.); accommodations needed and/or offered to perform work
- Personal Costs -- list any expenses related to the injury, including loss of income
- Documentation of Workers’ Compensation -- copies of any communications regarding workers’ compensation; names and dates of anyone you’ve spoken or written to regarding workers’ compensation coverage
When gathering your information, actual documentation is the most important factor in these events. It is also helpful for you to write down your recollections of any conversations you have related to your injury. In general, however, avoid relying on conversations. Ask that communications regarding your injury and employment be provided in a written format so that a paper trail can be established. While conversations often end up being a he-said/she-said situation in a legal matter, written documentation is much harder to dispute.
While an on-the-job injury can cause a number of personal and financial problems, those problems are not insurmountable. And the two best advocates in helping an injured worker will always be the worker and their Chicago workers compensation lawyer. Together, they provide all the essential elements to a successful case.
About the Author: Brooke Haley marketing associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation lawyer that practice in the areas of Civil Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts within the State of Illinois. For more information, please visit http://www.millonpeskin.com.