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What is the Process of Filing Workers’ Compensation?

 Posted on June 06, 2024 in Workers' Compensation


Rolling Meadows workers' compensation lawyerIf you sustain an injury on the job, you have a right to see if you can get workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits can help cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to your injury. But how do you actually go about filing a workers’ compensation claim? An Illinois lawyer can help walk you through the process and ensure your legal rights are met.

Reporting the Injury

The first crucial step is to report your injury to your employer immediately. In Illinois, you have 45 days from the date of the injury to provide written notice. However, you should not wait that long. Inform your supervisor immediately, and document the details of the incident, including the date, time, location, and how the injury occurred.

Seek Medical Treatment

Your health should be your top priority. If you need emergency care, visit the nearest hospital or urgent care facility. For non-emergency treatment, your employer may have a preferred provider network. If not, you can choose your own doctor. Be sure to inform the medical provider that your injury is work-related, and keep all receipts and documentation related to your treatment. Any medical records you have will help strengthen your claim because they are considered strong proof.

Filing the Claim Form

To officially begin the claims process, you will need to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). This form asks for information about you, your employer, and the details of your injury. You can file the form online, by mail, or in person at one of the IWCC’s offices.

The Arbitration Process

After you file your claim, your case will be assigned to an arbitrator. The arbitrator will schedule a hearing where both sides can present evidence and arguments. This is where having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Illinois can make a big difference. Your lawyer can help you gather the necessary documentation, prepare your testimony, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

Resolving the Claim

In many cases, workers’ compensation claims are resolved through a settlement agreement between the injured worker and the employer’s insurance company. This agreement typically includes a lump sum payment in exchange for the worker giving up their right to pursue further legal action. If a settlement cannot be reached, the arbitrator will issue a decision after the hearing.

Appealing the Decision

If you disagree with the arbitrator’s decision, you have the right to appeal. A panel hears appeals of three commissioners from the IWCC. The panel will review the evidence and arguments presented during the initial arbitration hearing and make a determination based on their findings. Introducing new evidence is generally not allowed during the appeal process unless it was not available at the time of the original hearing. If you are still unsatisfied with the outcome, you can take your case to the Illinois Circuit Court system. At this stage, a judge will review the case to ensure that the IWCC’s decision was in line with Illinois law and that proper procedures were followed throughout the process.

Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

You should not have to deal with the pain of an injury you experienced from work on your own. You deserve to seek any justice that may be possible. An Arlington Heights, IL workers’ compensation attorney is ideal to have on your side during the process. Call Newland & Newland, LLP at 847-797-8000 to get started with a free consultation.

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