When a person is injured on the job, they often want to know what will happen if they file for workers’ compensation benefits. At the Law Office of Millon and Peskin, we answer this question for our clients on a regular basis. But another question is: “Why should I file for workers’ compensation benefits?” And unfortunately, often a person with this question will never seek an answer. These are the workers who, for whatever reason, are compelled to “tough it out” when they are injured on the job. Sadly, they are often making a choice that costs them more than they realize.
The most important reason we urge our clients to pursue their workers’ compensation benefits is so that they can heal. These benefits allow injured workers to receive medical treatment they might not otherwise be able to afford. Healing can often require multiple doctor visits, expensive tests, treatment and medications. Even with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs can skyrocket. Without insurance, these costs are financially devastating for many. Because of this, those without workers’ compensation benefits will often forego treatment for their job-related injury or illness. When this happens, such workers typically keep working despite their pain. While some may heal on their own, these are the lucky few. Many will find that their injury or illness never completely heals. Ultimately, either their quality of work and life is affected by ongoing pain, weakness or reduced ability, they suffer a re-injury/relapse, or their problems worsen and potentially become catastrophic.
This ties into the second reason an injured worker should seek workers’ compensation benefits: to save their job. Workers often mistakenly believe that applying for benefits will risk their job. The truth is, however, that a worker whose injury affects their ability or quality of work can cost an employer more over time. By reporting your injury, and filing for benefits, you are more likely to receive necessary medical attention that will speed your return to working at full capacity. But a worker who fails to report his or her injury may simply seem to be slacking off to their employer. Perhaps you appear to be working more slowly, with less efficiency. Your chronic pain and lack of sleep may seem like a deteriorating attitude. Worse, you suddenly are calling in sick or taking frequent breaks, which will quickly reduce productivity for everyone. If your boss does not know you have been injured, he or she can easily draw the wrong conclusions. And this can hurt your career. Those who file for workers’ compensation benefits, however, are often provided time and/or allowances to seek treatment and to recover. The law is designed to help workers heal, to return them to full capacity on the job if possible, while providing employers with the guidance and information they need to keep the workplace running efficiently.
Finally, an injured worker should seek workers’ compensation benefits to protect themselves financially. We have seen this throughout the reasons listed above. To heal, you need to seek medical attention. Medical treatments cost money, and without workers’ compensation, these costs will be paid by you. Also, your job will likely be negatively affected if you are injured, whether through reduced capacity or time off. Lost time at work means lost money. Workers’ compensation benefits may not only help protect your job and career, but may provide you with income you have lost due to an inability to work.
At Millon and Peskin, lawyer workers compensation Chicago, our years of experience in workers’ compensation law have taught us that it’s the unasked questions which hurt injured workers the most. It’s important to us that our clients understand not just what workers’ compensation benefits provide, but how we will achieve these benefits for them. If you have any questions regarding workers’ compensation benefits, contact our offices for answers.
About the Author: Brooke Haley is a Marketing Associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation lawyers that practice in the areas of 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 in the State of Illinois. For more information about Illinois workers compensation attorney,please visit www.millonpeskin.com.