Getting hurt or sick on the job is something that can happen to anyone. Of course, certain jobs present more dangers than others. But, some may be surprised to learn that simply working in the public sector can increase the odds of a workplace injury or illness.
In late October 2011, the Labor Department released a report showing that the rate of workplace injury for those employed in the public sector is nearly twice as high compared to those who work in the private industry.
In the private sector, 3.5 cases of injuries and sicknesses per 100 workers were reported in 2010. State and local government workers, however, experienced injury or illness during the same time frame at a rate of 5.7 instances per 100 workers.
Government workers were also more like to suffer a serious on-the-job injury or illness, defined as one requiring days off from work or a job transfer or restriction. For every 100 workers, 2.5 serious injury cases were reported among public employees, compared to only 1.8 for those in private industry.
Nearly 80 percent of the accidents or illness reported in the public sector took place at the local level of government.
After a workplace injury occurs, the first thing you should do is see to your immediate medical needs. But, as workers’ compensation is the only avenue of recovery available to most of those who get sick or injured on the job, it is also important to take steps to protect your workers’ comp claim.
Any injury should be reported to your employer as soon as possible, even if you believe it does not require treatment. Once notified, your employer will file a report of injury form with its workers’ compensation insurer. It is important not to delay in reporting your injury or illness for two reasons: first, there is a time limit for making workers’ compensation claims, and second, insurance companies are given a greater opportunity to deny your claim the longer you wait.
You should also contact an Illinois law firm with workers’ compensation experience. It is important to file a workers’ comp claim as soon as possible, but those who forge ahead without seeking legal advice may receive a low settlement offer or be denied completely.
If you are suffering from a work-related illness or injury, get the full amount of compensation you deserve. Contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney today.