When you are injured on the job, recovering compensation for your lost wages and medical expenses through workers’ compensation is a critical part of your well being. Unfortunately, though, many claims for workers’ compensation that are valid and should be approved are denied by an employer or an insurer, often to save the company money.
It can be easy to feel as though you have no options if your workers’ compensation claim is denied; however, you have the right to appeal the decision and should engage the help of a legal professional in doing so. Here’s a look into what you need to know–
What to Do if Your Benefits are Denied
An employer may deny your workers’ compensation benefits for myriad reasons, ranging from your failure to notify your employer of your accident within the required time frame to disputes about proof of how your injury occurred. Regardless of the reason, if you are denied benefits that you believe you are rightfully entitled to, you will need to file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
To start your claim, you need to file two form types (and provide multiple copies of each): the Application for Adjustment of Claim and the Proof of Service.
After Your Claim is Filed
After you file a claim with the commission, the commission will assign an arbitrator to your case. At this point, you should request a hearing, which will be conducted by the arbitrator. During the hearing, you and your employer will both be given the opportunity to present evidence that supports your case. It is highly recommended that you are represented by a legal professional during a hearing, as a lawyer will know what an arbitrator is looking for and how to present compelling evidence. At the conclusion of the hearing, the arbitrator will issue a written decision. You can read more about this process in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Handbook.
Can I Appeal an Arbitrator’s Decision?
The decision made by an arbitrator is not binding, and either you, or your employer if the decision is in your favor, has a right to appeal it. Rather than being heard by an arbitrator, at this level in the appeals process, your appeal will be reviewed by a panel of three commissioners. Again, you will have the opportunity to explain why you deserve workers’ compensation benefits and why the panel should issue a determination in your favor.
Once the panel issues its decision, the decision cannot be appealed if you are a state employee. If you are not a state employee, you may once again appeal the decision to the circuit court. It is possible for a case to go all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
At the firm of Tuite Law, our Rockford personal injury attorneys care about you. When you are injured on the job, we want to make sure that you get the benefits you deserve and are passionate about every case we take on.
We also have years’ worth of experienced in workers’ compensation law and appealing denied claims, and thoroughly understand the process. To learn more and schedule your free consultation, please use our online form to send us a message today.