Workers’ Compensation Hearings
Workers’ compensation is a system of benefits provided to employees injured in the course and scope of their employment. Illinois law requires that injured workers timely file their claims, and provide notice to their employers when their injury or illness becomes known. In some cases, the employer or their insurance company may initially deny employee’s claim or attempt to minimize the amount of benefits for which they are eligible. At Therman Law Offices, we assist injured workers seeking benefits, including providing diligent representation at workers’ compensation hearings at all stages of the claims process. Our skilled Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation attorneys have more than 35 years of combined experience helping employees in and around Cook County. We are well-versed in the deadlines and procedural requirements necessary to pursue benefits and compensation following a work-related injury or illness.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Under Illinois Law
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides a way for injured workers to remain financially suuported as they recover from workplace injuries and illnesses. The system of compensation provides benefits such as medical coverage, disability payments, and vocational training. Claims for workers’ compensation are overseen by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC), a government agency. This agency is impartial, and resolves disputes between employees and employers (or their insurance companies) surrounding claims for benefits.
Unfortunately, insurance companies or an employer can deny a claim for workers’ compensation for a variety of reasons. In some circumstances, they may claim that a worker suffered an injury unrelated to their job. For example, they may allege that a pre-existing condition led to their injury, or that at the time of an accident, the employee was not working.
If a procedural problem resulted in a denial of benefits, a skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help. Paperwork must be properly completed throughout the process of filing and pursuing a claim for workers’ compensation. Additionally, at the time of the accident or injury, the employee must establish that they were employed by the employer. Notice requirements are also important, although a claim for benefits may still survive in certain situations, even if it was not formally reported.
Workers’ Compensation Hearings and Appeals
Illinois law sets forth rules for appealing a workers’ compensation claim that has been denied by an employer or their insurance company. First, the employee files an appeal with the IWCC. A hearing then takes place before an arbitrator selected by the Commission. This informal hearing allows the employee to testify to the events that led to their injury, and to set forth evidence supporting a claim for benefits.
At the arbitration hearing, evidence is presented by both the employer, or their insurance company, and the employee. Evidence may include medical records, accident reports, and witness testimony concerning the accident or injuries. Medical examinations from an independent doctor can further support a claim that an injury was suffered at the workplace. A decision is usually issued within 60 days. If a decision denying benefits is further upheld, another hearing can take place before three commissioners. If that does not prove successful, a skilled attorney may take your workers’ compensation claim to court.
Before a hearing, the employer typically requests that the employee be evaluated by a doctor. If an independent medical exam (IME) is requested, the employee must attend this examination. During the exam, the doctor will ask questions about the worker’s injury and create a written report which documents their findings. This report may be relied upon during a workers’ compensation hearing.
Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Schaumburg or Wheaton
Navigating the workers’ compensation system in order to receive benefits and compensation can be challenging. A knowledgeable job injury lawyer can help you with the process, paperwork, and workers’ compensation hearings associated with your claim. At Therman Law Offices, we strive to build strong cases for injured employees throughout Schaumburg, Wheaton, and the surrounding areas. If your claim for benefits has been denied, we can work tirelessly to help you pursue you benefits through the appeals process. We proudly help people throughout Harwood Heights, Norwood Park, Norridge, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Elmwood Park, Elk Grove Village, Rosemont, and Mt. Prospect. To understand more about your claim, call our office at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.