Giving Notice After an Auto Industry Work Injury

Chicago Lawyers for Employees Injured On the Job

The auto industry includes all companies and activities involved in making cars or other vehicles and their components. Workers can suffer serious injuries on the job in the auto industry. These may be injuries sustained in a traumatic accident, in which case there may be witnesses to what happened. However, auto workers may also sustain severe injuries when no one else is present, or as a result of cumulative factors, such as in the case of a repetitive stress injury. In any of these situations, it is important for employees to give notice after an auto industry work injury, even if they think others in their workplace are aware of the injury. A Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can answer your questions about giving notice, as well as any benefits you may be eligible for.

Giving Notice After an Auto Industry Work Injury

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act section 6(c), it is important to give notice of a work accident or injury to an employer as soon as possible. You’re supposed to provide this notice within 45 days of being injured. Although you can technically give oral notice, it is wise to give written notice so that you have proof you gave notice in case your employer forgets or claims you didn’t. On top of this notice deadline, you need to file your claim for benefits within three years of the accident.

Generally, the notification of injury should be to a supervisor or someone who serves as a supervisor. It’s insufficient to tell a coworker about, for example, dropping a heavy car part and crushing your foot. If you don’t give notice within the appropriate time period, you could lose access to worker’s compensation benefits.

The written notice should include the date and place where you were hurt. It should also describe what happened to you and what injuries you sustained. It should also provide your name and contact information. A seasoned work injury lawyer can answer your questions about any other information you are considering including in your notice.

Different Time Limits

Sometimes a catastrophic injury occurs on the job and the worker becomes disabled or incapacitated for legal purposes, meaning that the injured worker needs a guardian to handle their affairs. If an injured worker is under a legal disability, then the notice period doesn’t begin to run against until a guardian has been appointed. For example, if a heavy car crushed a worker and left him in a coma in the hospital, a loved one could apply to be his guardian or have another person appointed, and the notice period wouldn’t begin to run until the guardian was appointed.

Specific kinds of occupational illnesses or injuries are also treated slightly differently. You have 90 days after you know or suspect you got an excessive dose of radiation to give notice to your employer.

Further, there is an exception where, if you have health insurance toward which your employer pays at least some of the premium and the health insurance has paid for the work accident treatment, if 45 days have passed since the work accident, the notice period doesn’t start until that payment terminates. Similarly, if you miss the deadline to file your workers’ compensation claim, which is 3 years, and your employer-paid health insurance paid for your treatment, this exception also applies.

When your employer is paying for certain workers’ compensation benefits, such as medical care or temporary total disability benefits, but not paying others, you have 2 years to file your claim.

Speak With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

If you are concerned about giving notice after an auto industry work injury in Chicago, a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer can answer your questions. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent workers injured in Rockford, Quincy, Champaign, and Aurora, as well as Winnebago, Adams, Kane, Sangamon, and Cook Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.