You’ve been hurt while at work or while performing a job-related task–now what? Ideally, you should report a workplace injury to your employer as soon as possible after a workplace accident occurs. However, we understand that there are a few common reasons for why you may delay in reporting a job-related accident, such as:
- Fear of losing your job
- Potential negative backlash from co-workers and/or a supervisor
- Having to seek emergency medical care prior to reaching an employer or their representative
Unfortunately, our legal team has found that the fear of ‘what could happen’ can result in an injured employee missing out on receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
As we don’t want this to happen to you, take a look at the following answers to frequently asked questions regarding deadlines for reporting a job-related accident and worker’s comp claim in Illinois and Iowa. If you still have questions after, we strongly encourage you to contact our experienced workplace accident attorneys for a free consultation to get answers that apply to your specific work injury.
As an Employee, How Long Do I Have to Report a Workplace Accident?
Deadlines to report a workplace accident vary from state to state. This is because the workers’ comp claims process depends on the workplace location. Consequently, you would benefit greatly from knowing the following workers’ compensation claim deadlines for Illinois and Iowa.
Deadlines for Reporting an Illinois Job-related Accident
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission requires that a worker must report a job-related injury within 45 days after the accident occurs. You can either notify your employer in writing or verbally. When doing so make sure that you include your full name, current address, and phone number. You will also need to state the type of injury, how it occurred, as well as your social security number.
Other Illinois workplace accident notice deadlines to keep in mind:
- You must report an injury resulting from toxic exposure or repetitive/cumulative 45 days after discovery
- Injuries or disablement from an occupational disease must be reported within three years after discovery
- Injuries or disablement from an occupational disease must be reported within two years of receiving your last last workers’ compensation payment
As there are a few exceptions to these deadlines, make sure that you speak with an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer. They can to help ensure that you don’t miss out on possible injury claim benefits.
Iowa Job-related Accident Report Deadline
The Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) requires injured employees to notify their employer of all work-related injuries within 90 days of an incident. This means that an employee has 90 days from when they knew, or should have known, that their injury was the result of a job-related task.
The law does not mandate how an employee must report a job-related injury to their employer. It can be done via a handwritten note, email, or by directly speaking with an employer or their representative. Just make sure that you include all the essential information listed above.
How Are Workers’ Compensation Deadlines Determined?
Workers’ compensation deadlines are generally determined by one or more of the following factors:
- Date of the workplace accident and injury
- Knowledge of the job-related injury
- A doctor’s determination that the injury happened on the job
The last two points apply to injuries that develop over time. Examples include being diagnosed with a disease after long- or short-term exposure to a dangerous substance, carpal tunnel syndrome, a work-related heart attack, or a repetitive stress injury.
Is There a Different Deadline for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
In addition to reporting a job-related injury to your employer, you must also file a worker’s comp claim. This step is not necessarily essential to begin receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, you must eventually file claim with your state.
Working with an experienced attorney who handles workplace injury claims will help ensure that your employer follows through on their state mandated requirements. An attorney can also help you keep track of deadlines so that you are not denied benefits.
For the state of Illinois, an Application for Adjustment of Claim must be filed with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) through CompFile. You must file your claim three years from the date of your injury. Or, two years from the last payment of benefits (if you have already received benefits), whichever is later.
The Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) requires eFiling of claims under agency rules in Chapter 876 of the Iowa Administrative Code (IAC). There are two different options for the state of Iowa. The first option reads that your Iowa claim must be filed two years from the injury date if you have already been approved for workers’ compensation disability benefits, but have not yet received a check.
The second option reads that if you have already been approved for and have been receiving regular workers’ compensation disability benefits, your claim must be filed three years from the date of your last disability benefit check.
What Happens If I Miss a Deadline?
Missing a deadline to report a job-related accident injury or file a workers’ comp claim could result in:
- Denial of workers’ comp benefits
- Loss / reduction of additional benefits
We know that it can be overwhelming to focus on these deadlines if you are suffering from a job-related injury.
Contact us to learn how we can help ease your burden so that you can focus on your recovery. Our team has decades of experience helping injured workers get the benefits they are entitled to after an Iowa and Illinois workplace accident.
Need Help Filing an Illinois or Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident in Illinois or Iowa, call us for help. Our workers’ compensation lawyers are well-versed in the steps required for filing Illinois and Iowa workers’ compensation claims.
Contact Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham today for a free, no obligation consultation. Our legal team will first carefully review the details that resulted in your work injury. We will then go over your legal options with you. That way you can make a well-informed decision on what to do next.