Workers and employers have responsibilities when it comes to reporting workplace injuries. Unfortunately, there can be some confusion surrounding whether or not employers or employees are required to report minor injuries that only require first aid. In general, employers are supposed to report even minor injuries to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Employees Can Generally Recover Compensation For All Workplace Injuries
The state of Illinois has a robust workers’ compensation system in place. This is considered a “no-fault” type of insurance, meaning that injury victims do not have to prove that another party was negligent in order to recover compensation. Those who sustain on-the-job injuries should be able to recover compensation regardless of who caused the incident, so long as they were performing job-related duties at the time the incident occurred.
When a person is injured at work, they are entitled to full coverage of their medical bills as well as a significant portion of any lost wages caused by them not being able to work while they recover or due to a disability.
Employers – You Need to Report All Injuries, Even Minor Ones
If you are an employer in Chicago or anywhere in Illinois, we strongly encourage you to report any minor workplace injury to your workers’ compensation insurance carrier. This even includes claims that are handled “in-house” through first aid.
Why would an employer need to report an injury that did not even result in professional medical care?
The reality is that most individuals do not realize whether or not they have sustained a severe injury right after the incident occurs. If an employee experiences what seems like a relatively minor incident and only needs superficial first aid, it may be the case that they do not realize how severe an injury is. It is not uncommon for individuals to sustain hidden injuries that do not show up until hours or days after an incident occurs. This is particularly prevalent when it comes to concussions and more severe traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, and internal organ damage.
As an employer, your job is to ensure that your employees receive the medical care that they are entitled to. Yes, there may certainly be times when a person only needs minor first aid. However, you should always encourage your employees to go to the doctor for an evaluation to make sure that there are no hidden injuries that could come up later and result in major problems for both you and the worker.
How Long do Employees Have to Report Workplace Injuries in Illinois?
Under workers’ compensation laws in Illinois, an injured employee has 45 days after an accident to report the incident to their employer. If you are an employer and notice that an employee seeks medical care from a first aid center on your premises, this is your first sign that an incident has indeed occurred. Even though your employee has 45 days from the day the injury occurs to report the incident, we encourage you to be proactive and have your employee go to the doctor and begin the incident report with your insurance carrier yourself.