Work Injury Cases- Behind the Scenes With the Arbitrator

Ever wonder what someone else really thinks?

Of course, that is what novels and movies lay out for us many times.

Let’s go behind the scenes and see what a Workers’ Compensation Judge (in Illinois they are called Arbitrators) looks at in the typical case.

Arbitrator Daniels is reviewing her first case for the day. It involves a low back injury that happened on October 1, 2016.

The Arbitrator looks at the first doctor visit after the injury. It is dated October 21, 2016. This is not that unusual because it may take some time to get into the doctor’s office.

The Arbitrator reads the doctor note.

It says “low back pain. No known injury. Pain with bending and twisting.”

This bothers the Arbitrator because she believes most people who are injured at work will tell the doctor right away if they are injured at work so the doctor will understand everything he needs to know about the injury and the background involved.

The injured worker had testified before Arbitrator Daniels that he filed an accident report with work several months after the accident. He did this because he did not know what to do. The supervisor testified that every employee is instructed to file an accident report at the time of an accident.

The injured worker testified that he told the doctor he was hurt at work, but the office messed up the records.

The Arbitrator decides to rule against the injured worker because she believes timely filed records are important, and statements made closest in time to the accident are usually the most truthful.

This look into the Arbitrator’s mind shows the importance of filing a timely accident report, and telling the doctor immediately that you were injured on the job.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.



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