Workers' Compensation Appeals
For most people injured on the job, workers’ compensation is a critical component of their recovery. If you feel that your employer or insurance company has unfairly denied your claim, you need to speak to one of our Wheaton and Schaumburg workers’ compensation attorneys without delay. The workers’ compensation appeals process is complex, and having the right attorney on your side can make a critical difference in your case. At Therman Law Offices, we know how to get injured employees the benefits that they are entitled to receive after a workplace accident, whether these are partial or total disability benefits.Appealing the Denial of a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Illinois law allows specific recourse for workers who are injured on the job or sustain a job-related illness. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers can seek benefits, such as medical expenses and lost wages, through their employer. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) is the government agency that handles workers’ compensation claims between employees and employers. This government body acts as an impartial administrative court that resolves claims.
An employer may deny your workers’ compensation claim for a number of reasons, ranging from an alleged failure to notify your employer of your accident within the required time frame to disputes regarding how your injury took place, such as whether a pre-existing condition was the actual cause. If your employer is refusing to pay benefits, it must send you a written explanation of why the benefits are being denied. If you receive such an explanation, and you believe that it contains inaccurate information or any errors, you should contact your employer as soon as possible.
Irrespective of the reason, if your claim is denied, you will need to file an appeal with the IWCC. At our firm, we handle all types of workers’ compensation appeals, including:
- Arbitrator appeal: This is an administrative action filed with the IWCC for a hearing before an arbitrator to appeal an insurance carrier’s wrongful denial of benefits or access to care. The arbitrator will hear both sides of the case and make a decision on whether the employer must accept your claim. If the arbitrator does not force your employer to take the claim, you can appeal the decision to a panel of commissioners (see below).
- Commissioner’s appeal: If you are not happy with the decision made by the arbitration judge in your workers’ compensation case, such as if you received temporary total disability rather than permanent total disability benefits, you can appeal to the IWCC. Specifically, the appeal takes place before a panel of three commissioners on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- Circuit court appeal: If an IWCC decision is not acceptable to you, it can be appealed to the Illinois circuit court in the county where the injury took place. The service requirements for this type of appeal are different, and the standard of review is higher than it is for the previously mentioned levels of appeal. Here, you must show that the decision of the IWCC is against the manifest weight of the evidence.
- Appellate court appeal: Both parties have the right to appeal to the IWCC Division of the Illinois Appellate Court. This process requires extensive briefing.
- Illinois Supreme Court appeal: This is granted only with leave of the court.
It is important to note that for Illinois state employees, the commission’s decision is final. In other words, once the commission makes a decision, state employees cannot appeal any further.Discuss Your Needs with a Workplace Accident Attorney in Wheaton or Schaumburg
If you or someone close to you has been injured on the job, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits on a weekly basis or through a lump sum settlement. If your benefits have been denied, we can help. At Therman Law Offices, our seasoned lawyers have the skill, experience, and determination to handle your case. You can rest assured that we have helped many clients obtain the benefits that they deserve for their on-the-job injuries. Our attorneys have represented people in cities such as Wheaton, Schaumburg, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Elk Grove Village, and Mt. Prospect. To learn more, feel free to call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.