Statute of Limitations for Illinois Workers' Compensation Claims
Illinois' workers' compensation laws include a statute of limitations that puts a deadline on filing a claim. In other words, you only have a certain amount of time to ask for workers' compensation after a work injury. If you don't file a claim within that window, you can miss out on important benefits, such as payment for lost wages, coverage of medial expenses and compensation for the permanent nature of your injury.
A work injury can turn your life upside down, with physical, mental and financial consequences. Illinois law entitles injured workers to benefits, but it's not necessarily automatic. We understand that your medical treatment and recovery are your main concern, but making sure you get your benefits as soon as possible is important, as well. We are attorneys and can help you get started by answering your questions about Illinois workers' compensation law, recommending specific attorneys to help with your specific situation, and explaining what you can expect from the entire process. We do not charge for this service.
Illinois law gives workers three years from the date of injury to file a claim for benefits. If you fell off of a ladder at work on January 15, 2014, you have until January 15, 2017, to file a claim. Obviously, you would want to receive benefits much quicker, and in our experience, the sooner you file a claim the better. Some injuries are caused over time and not in a single accident on a specific day. When that's the case, the deadline is three years from when you knew, or should have known, that your injury was caused by your job. This could be the day you were diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, for example.
The exception to this law is if you have received workers' compensation benefits for your work injury. In that case, you have two years from the date of your last benefits in which to file a claim. That usually means the last time you received TTD benefits or a medical bill was paid. So even if three years has passed since the accident date, if benefits have been paid in the last two years, you'd be ok.
We always recommend filing a claim regardless of whether you've started receiving benefits. It is not your employer's job to file a claim, nor will the insurance company do this for you. You or your attorney needs to file a formal claim, called an Application for Adjustment of Claim, with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission in Chicago. It doesn't cost anything to file and it prevents you from ever losing your rights because you waited too long.
If you have questions about the time limits for filing or if you need help finding an attorney with the right experience, please give us a call. Don't assume that it's too late to file a claim for your injury, or that you aren't eligible for benefits, even if your boss or the insurance company tells you that's the case. To get in touch with us, call (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614, or fill out our contact us form and we will reach out to you.