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

Posted: July 22nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

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.

 

Source:

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/handbook020106.pdf


Do Not Delay; Report Your Injury When It Happens

Posted: April 22nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

reporting, Chicago workers compensation lawyerThe “fatal four” are responsible for roughly 508 construction worker deaths annually. Falls accounted for 349 deaths in 2014, electrocutions for 74, struck by an object for 73, and being caught in between an object accounted for 12 fatalities, according to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration. All four of these types of accidents account for thousands more injuries. But, if you are injured on the job, who do you tell? Or, do you even tell anyone? Many employers fail to even mention their work-related injuries for fear of repercussions or because they think they are protecting their employer. After all, it was not their fault, was it?

What you believe about your rights as a worker may, in fact, be entirely wrong. If you were performing your job in a reasonably careful and responsible manner, and you were operating under normal protocol, you are not liable for an injury that happened on the job; your employer is, through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is funded with wages withheld from you, the employee, and you have every right to seek that compensation should you ever need it. In fact, you are potentially putting yourself in harm’s way by not immediately reporting the incident and receiving the proper medical care and financial assistance that you require.

Immediately Reporting the Injury Shows That an Injury Actually Occurred

In the State of Illinois, you have up to 45 day s from the date of the injury to provide notice to your employer. However, this does not mean that you should wait and see how the situation unfolds. It is true that often an injury will heal on its own or within a short timeframe. Many other serious injuries only grow worse with time, which can eat away at your savings and cause you to miss additional work, especially if you never received the proper medical care in the first place. By immediately reporting the incident, your employer or your employer’s insurance provider will have a more difficult time claiming that the injury was non-existent, that it happened away from your place of work, or that you were being unduly negligent (such as intoxicated) at the time of the accident.

Get Medical Help Quickly

Seeking medical attention by a reputable doctor also helps strengthen your case that the injury was in fact substantial. Early medical intervention will also greatly speed up your recovery process and help mitigate future medical complications that go along with a severe injury, such as chronic aches, pains, and loss of range of motion. Recovering from a bad injury is difficult enough, as is receiving the amount of workers’ compensation that you deserve, even if everything goes in your favor and you report the incident in a timely manner. Employers and insurance providers may drag their feet, deny you compensation, or offer an unrealistic amount without the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at your side.

Pursuing the workers’ compensation benefits you are due is a process that you do not want to encounter alone. If you were injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney atthe Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/act.pdf


Improving Your Case with Documentation of Your Injuries

Posted: April 8th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

work injury documentation workers compensationOne of the basic requirements for having a workers’ compensation claim approved is to report the accident and the injury to your employer. But, simply informing your employer is often not enough to ensure you get all of the benefits to which you are legally entitled. You also need to make sure your injuries are properly documented.

Why Documentation Matters

Before benefits can be paid out, your employer’s insurance company will want proof that you have been injured and that your injury affects your ability to do your job. Your own testimony is not enough proof.

Every year thousands of worker’s compensation claims are denied, or the employee receives less in benefits because the cause and extent of the employee’s injury was not properly documented. Consider that lower back and neck injuries are the most common workplace injuries, yet many of these claims are denied for lack of documentation.

Getting Your Injury Documented

The first step in getting your injury properly documented is to tell your doctor you were injured at work in a workplace accident. This fact should be clearly noted in medical record. You will also want to make sure that the doctor confirms in writing that your injuries were caused by the accident. Sometimes, doctors will tell you something during the visit, but forget to make a note. You may need to request a note from your doctor stating that you are not clear to work, or that you can only perform light-duty tasks, because of your injury. It is up to you to ask the doctor and his or her team to keep your file accurate and up to date.

You may need to see a specialist for your injury. Every time you see a new medical professional, he or she needs to know that the injury was caused by a workplace accident and that fact should be recorded in your medical records. If you receive follow-up care, you may need to remind your doctor that the symptoms you are still experiencing were from the earlier work accident.

Building Your Case

While it can feel awkward to ask your doctor to make specific notes in your file, it is essential for your workers’ compensation claim that the cause of your injury, the extent of your injury, and the way your injury affects your ability to work is documented. When you provide complete documentation to your workers’ compensation lawyer, you have a much better chance of getting the benefits you deserve.

If you have been injured in a work related accident, you need to act fast to protect your rights.  Speak with an experienced DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer right away. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation. You need to know your rights.

 

Source:

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/handbook020106.pdf