At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, our Illinois personal injury attorneys will work to help you get the money you deserve if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied. An Aurora IL workers compensation lawyer at our firm has extensive experience fighting for injured workers’ rights and have a deep knowledge of how the system works.
Purpose of workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that most employers are required to carry to help support and protect their employees. It’s intended to provide financial and medical support to employees who get injured or become sick due to the nature of their job.
The primary objectives of workers’ compensation are:
- To provide financial assistance to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job, regardless of who is at fault for the injury or illness.
- To provide medical treatment.
- To help you return to work as soon as possible.
- To reduce the financial burdens on you and your family.
- To provide a fair and efficient system for resolving disputes between employees and employers.
In most cases, employees aren’t able to sue their employer for negligence in the event of an injury or illness. Instead, they must rely on the workers’ compensation system. This is known as the “exclusive remedy” clause, and it’s intended to provide a prompt and efficient way for employees to receive benefits for job-related injuries or illnesses without the need for a long and costly legal battle.
Eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits
In Illinois, most employees are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim, including employees full-time, part-time, or temporary employees, as well as independent contractors in some cases.
A workers’ comp attorney can help determine if you’re eligible to file a claim. They can also help guide you through the process of filing a claim and help you understand the rights and benefits you’re entitled to under the law.
The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois typically involves the following steps:
- Seek medical treatment – Your health is your top priority. Get whatever treatment is needed for the injury you’ve suffered as soon as possible.
- Notify your employer – Inform your employer of your injury or illness as soon as practicable, and provide them with all the necessary details, including the date, time and location of the incident, the nature of the injury or illness, and the identity of any witnesses.
- File a claim – Within three years of the date of your injury or illness, file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) by completing the necessary forms and providing any required documentation such as medical reports.
- Attend a hearing – After your claim is filed, you may be required to attend a hearing at the IWCC. This is an opportunity for you to present your case and for the IWCC to hear from any other parties involved, such as your employer or their insurance company.
- Receive a decision – After the hearing, the IWCC will make a decision on your claim. If your claim is approved, you will be entitled to receive benefits such as medical treatment and lost wages. If your claim is denied, you may be able to appeal the decision.
The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim can be complex and time-consuming. Consult a Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates Illinois personal injury attorney who can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Time limits for filing a claim
You must inform your employer of a work-related injury or illness within 45 days of the date the injury or illness occurred. If you fail to notify your employer within this time frame, you might lose the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Although you may notify your employer orally, it’s recommended that you provide written notice. Your notice should include all necessary details, including the date, time, and location of the incident, the nature of the injury or illness, and any witnesses
The deadline for filing your claim is typically three years from the date of the injury or illness if no compensation has been paid. This means you must file your claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) within three years of the date the injury or illness occurred.
If you have been paid any compensation, then you must file your claim within two years of the last payment you received.
If you fail to file a claim within either of these time frames, you could be barred from pursuing legal action.
Although it seems like you have a long time to file, you should file your claim as soon as possible. Talk to a Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates workers’ comp attorney in Aurora, IL right away. We can help you understand the Illinois workers’ compensation process, help you file your claim, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
You’ll need to provide certain documentation to support your claim. Some of the types of documentation that you may need to provide include:
- Medical reports – Medical reports from your treating physician that detail your injury or illness, including the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
- Incident report – This is a report that describes the incident that caused your injury or illness. It should include the date, time, and location of the incident, as well as the details of what happened.
- Witness statements – These are statements from any witnesses who saw the incident that caused your injury or illness.
Your attorney will discuss any other relevant documents that might be helpful in supporting your claim, such as photographs of your injuries or the scene of the incident. These additional documents or other supporting evidence are case-specific but could be the difference between a successful or denied claim.
Types of benefits available
In Illinois, the following benefits may be available through a workers’ compensation claim:
- Medical expenses for necessary and reasonable medical expenses related to the employee’s work-related injury or illness.
- Lost wages for a portion of your lost wages while you can’t work.
- Rehabilitation services for vocational rehabilitation and other services to help you return to work.
- Permanent disability benefits are paid for a percentage of your average weekly wage if you’re permanently disabled.
- Death benefits paid to the employee’s dependents if the employee dies as a result of their work-related injury or illness.
Insurance company’s role in the process
The insurance company’s role is to provide coverage for employees who are hurt on the job. This coverage includes medical expenses, lost wages, and other benefits. It’s responsible for paying out these benefits to the employee, and may also investigate the claim to determine its validity.
In some cases, the insurance company may also defend the employer in any legal proceedings related to the claim.
Right to appeal a denied claim
Although you would like to think that the insurer would do the right thing and provide the money you deserve, insurance companies deny workers’ comp claims far too often.
You have the right to appeal a denied claim. The process for appealing a denied claim in Illinois is specific and involves several steps. The following are just a few.
- First, you must file a Request for Hearing with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) within three years from the date of the last payment of compensation or within three years from the date of the last denial of a claim.
- After the Request for Hearing is filed, a hearing will be scheduled before an arbitrator, who will hear the evidence and make a decision on the claim. If you’re not satisfied with the decision of the arbitrator, you can appeal the decision to the Commission. The Commission will review the decision of the arbitrator and make a final decision on the claim.
- If the Commission denies your claim, you may be able to appeal the decision to the Illinois Circuit Court. However, the appeal process can be complex and it’s recommended to seek legal help from a workers’ comp attorney in Aurora IL specialized in Illinois workers’ compensation laws to help guide you through the process.
Resources for assistance and further information
- Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC): This is the state agency responsible for administering the workers’ compensation system in Illinois. They provide information on the claims process, hearing schedules, and other resources for claimants and employers.
- Illinois Department of Insurance: This department provides information on workers’ compensation insurance.
Why work with the Aurora workers’ compensation lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates?
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates has a team of Illinois personal injury attorneys who are well-versed in the laws, regulations, and procedures related to workers’ comp. We also have the resources necessary to effectively pursue your case and a long track record of success.
Call (800) 985-1819 for a free case review.