How to File an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claim

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illinois workers compensation lawyerIn Illinois, if an employee sustains an injury on the job, they should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include coverage for all medical expenses for any treatments, medications, and any other costs associated with medical care for their injury. Injured employees are also entitled to receive a significant percentage of their weekly wages/salary if they are unable to work while they recover from their injuries. Although the law is very clear on who qualifies for these benefits, employers and their insurance companies are not always so cooperative, and it is not uncommon for them to attempt to deny an injured worker’s legitimate claim. One way to help minimize their chances of success is to make sure you take all the appropriate steps if you are injured.

Reporting the Injury

Each state has set its own compensation laws, including how long an injured employee has to report the injury. In Illinois, all workplace injuries must be reported within 45 days after the injury is sustained. If the worker is suffering from an illness caused by their job, they must report this within 45 days of receiving the diagnosis.

Many companies have their own protocols and procedures in police when it comes to reporting work-related injuries and illnesses. While the state of Illinois has the final say (45 days), it is recommended that employees report their injuries to their employer as soon as they can and not wait the 45 days, if possible. Not only does this reporting initiate your claim quicker, but it also avoids one of the reasons why your employer may attempt to deny your claim.

Make sure you document who you notified of your injury and when. Regardless of what your company’s policy is, it is often better to notify your employer via email, so you have an electronic record of the notification.

Filing a Claim

Many insurance companies will look for any reason they can to deny a claim. This is why it is important to include as much information as you can when filing your claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Although the state does not require you have an attorney file the claim for you, it is recommended you at least consult with an attorney prior to filing the claim to ensure that you understand all of the information that is required.

Once your claim is submitted to the state, the commission will notify both you and your employer of the date of your hearing. An arbitrator will also be assigned to your case and will oversee the hearing.

There are three possible outcomes of this hearing:

  • Your employer will agree you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits and the arbitrator will approve your claim.

  • Your employer will object to your claim, but the arbitrator will disagree and will approve your claim.

  • Your employer will object to your claim, the arbitrator will agree, and the arbitrator will deny your claim.

In the last two scenarios, either you or your employer can file for an appeal with the commission. The commission will schedule an appeal hearing where a panel will decide if the arbitrator was correct in their original decision.

Contact an Illinois Job Injury Lawyer Today

If you filed your claim originally on your own, but are now facing an appeal, contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney for help. Call Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation and find out what legal options you may have.





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