Archive for July, 2016

What Do I Do When My Workers’ Compensation Claim Was Denied?

July 22nd, 2016 at 3:16 pm

denied, Chicgao workers' compensation lawyerUnfortunately, not all workers’ compensation claims go as smoothly as they should. Even if the injuries you sustained clearly happened on the job and, and are severe, you may run into problems with your employer’s insurance provider, or even the employer themselves. However, when you receive a denial, you have the right to challenge the claims administrator’s decision. During this process of challenging the claim, it is in your best interest to seek the advice of an attorney. An attorney can not only help you decide if an appeal is the right way to go, but can help you navigate the paperwork, gather evidence, and build a case that will win in court.

Common Reasons for Claim Denials

First of all, approved insurance claims cost everyone money. That is, they cost your employer and their insurance provider money in terms of higher insurance rates and lost profit, respectively. As such, it does not make good economic sense to accept every workers’ compensation claim without thorough analysis. Unfortunately, it does not always stop there. Some employers or insurance claim adjusters will come up with any imaginable excuse for denying coverage. It may come down to a lack of trust (the employee or insurance adjuster does not believe that the injury occurred on the job), or the claim may be denied for more mundane reasons, such as an improperly filled out or signed claim. Not all workers’ compensation claims are denied for the reasons listed below, but the following list includes some of the more common reasons as to why a claim may be denied:

  • The injury was not reported immediately. In Illinois, workers have 45 days from the accident to notify their employer of the injury, according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The length of time increases for radiological exposure injuries; indeed, workers have 90 days from the time they know or expect they have been exposed to excessive radiation. And, workers that come down with an occupational disease must notify their employer as soon as they are aware of the illness;
  • The injured person was not treated by a medical professional immediately (or at all), which may lead a claims adjuster to believe that the injury was not serious;
  • There were illegal drugs in the injured person’s blood work when they went into the emergency room for treatment;
  • There were no witnesses present to the injury;
  • The accident report does not match medical records. For example, the injured person claimed they fell down a flight of stairs but their injuries do not match up to that type of accidental fall;
  • The claim was filed after the employee was fired or let go; and
  • The paperwork was not completed correctly.

While workplace fatalities have been on the decline in Illinois (there were 163 in 2014 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), serious injuries still occur in all too high numbers. Workers’ compensation is an essential aid in getting employees like you back on your feet.

If you are dealing with a denied claim, contact a skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288 for immediate help, as the deadline for making an appeal is usually very short.




The History of Workers’ Compensation and Who It Covers

July 8th, 2016 at 11:57 am

workers, Chicago workers compensation attorneyIf you were injured on the job, your employer may be legally bound to provide workers’ compensation to replace your wages while you recover from your injury or illness. Many workers have questions regarding their eligibility, to whom the compensation can be awarded, the amount of payment they should receive, and other questions. In some cases, employers may attempt to deny an injured worker the compensation that they deserve. If you have been denied coverage, it is in your best interests to retain a skilled attorney who can discuss the options available to you..

History of Workers’ Compensation

During the industrial revolution of the 1800s, workplace injuries and fatalities skyrocketed. Factories were famously hazardous and workers were offered little to no protection during their long, dangerous hours on the job. In order to be compensated for an injury, an employee would have to sue their employer for negligence, which was simply impossible for most workers, as they had neither the time, money, or other resources necessary to find success in a courtroom in this manner. Additionally, the court usually sided with the employer in these cases.

It was not until the early 1900s that state-specific legislation was proposed to protect the rights of workers to be compensated for their injuries and fatalities. Wisconsin was the first state to provide a permanent workers’ compensation plan back in 1911. With higher standards and employers being held accountable, fatalities and injuries have fallen dramatically in the century since. However, 13 people are killed on the job every day, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover and Who Receives Benefits?

The injured employee can receive compensation to cover their medical and rehabilitation costs, which are often the highest in a serious workplace accident. Workers’ compensation can also cover lost wages, which can be awarded to a fatally injured worker’s dependents as well. These death benefits may also cover a worker who was killed in the very unlikely event of a terrorist attack. Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance, which means that an employee will be eligible for compensation regardless of fault. However, workers’ compensation usually takes away the employee’s right to sue their employer for negligence in the event that the injury or illness was the fault of their employer. There are exceptions to this rule, however. If the employee believes the injury or illness was caused by an intentional act, they may bring a lawsuit for an intentional tort. These intentional acts, that may end in physical or emotional damage, include:

  • Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Conversion;
  • Defamation;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Fraud;
  • Invasion of privacy;
  • Intentional causation of emotional trauma; and
  • Trespassing.

What Mandatory Workers’ Compensation Laws Exist in Illinois?

In Illinois, compulsory workers’ compensation begins at 40 hours per week for 13 weeks of the year. If you have been denied, or offered too little for you injuries or illness, it may be time to contact an attorney. Call a skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288.




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