In Illinois, the law requires every employer to carry workers’ compensation, and provide its benefits when a worker is injured while performing job-related tasks. While not all employers have ill intent, there have been countless cases where employers, along with their insurers, took full advantage of the Workers’ Compensation Act to deny the workers of their rightful compensation and save money.
A worker is eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits if they are:
- An employee of a company who has workers’ comp insurance.
- Injured while performing job-related tasks even when they are not within company’s premises.
Here we have compiled all the common tricks that employers use to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits to their employees.
Advising the Employee to See a Company Doctor
If the doctor or physician evaluating your injuries is associated with your company, there is a high chance that they might not accurately diagnose and document your condition. The doctor’s statement holds a lot of significance and may prevent you from getting the compensation benefits you deserve. This is why you should always get a second opinion from an independent doctor.
Apart from this, employers sometimes recommend the injured worker to see a physician with whom they have a pre-existing relationship. The worker thinks that they will get an unbiased diagnosis of their condition; however, in reality, they are falling into their employer’s trap.
Out of Context Recorded Statements
Another common tactic is that the workers’ compensation claims adjuster tries to get the injured worker’s statement, while they are still in the hospital. They ask tricky questions when the claimant is under the influence of drugs or not in a correct state of mind to lessen the claim amount. Questions and agreeing to statements such as, “You had been injured previously and suffered from more pain than you are experience from this injury, correct?”, “You were diagnosed with body pain (arm pain, lower back pain, neck pain, etc.) before the injury, right?”, and others can have a significant effect on your claim.
The Three-Day Rule
For an employee to receive workers’ compensation benefits for missed work wages due to a workplace injury, they must skip work for three consecutive days. Most employees are unaware of this rule and their employers full take advantage of it. They ask the injured employee to continue coming to work and assign them light duty work so that they don’t have to pay them for lost income for a long term.
Insurers Voluntarily Paying the Benefits
For an injured worker, receiving benefits without having to file a claim won’t seem like a problem at all. However, this is another trick that insurance adjusters use to reduce the period of workers’ comp benefits. If the injured worker doesn’t file the claim using the right form, they will eventually stop getting the benefits after the time runs out, which according to the statute of limitations is one year.
If you think that your employer has used one of these tricks to deny your right to workers’ compensation, you should hire a reliable workers’ compensation attorney to fight your case. Contact The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online to schedule your initial legal consultation and discuss the specifics of your case.