Suffering a serious workplace injury can disrupt your life on multiple fronts. Besides debilitating physical injuries, you may be left unable to work and with a mountain of medical debt. It may be difficult to simply pay the rent and put food on the table. However, your situation becomes much more perilous if your workers’ compensation claim is denied. Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies devise crafty ways to avoid their responsibilities to injured workers. For example, they may claim that the injury is not work-related or not serious enough to prevent the claimant from working. Thankfully, injured workers can appeal denied claims to pursue the benefits they so desperately need and deserve.
Workers' Compensation Arbitration
When an injured worker believes they were wrongly denied workers compensation benefits or that the size of their benefits package was too small given their injuries, they may file a claim with the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission.
Arbitration is the first step in the appeals process. Arbitration is like an informal trial, during which the arbitrator will go over the facts of the case and make a decision. Each party is allowed to submit additional evidence, such as witness testimony, in support of their positions.
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission
Even if the arbitrator rules in favor of the employer, the injured worker still has options. They may file a petition for review with the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. The petition must be filed within 30 days of the arbitrator’s decision.
After an initial review, a hearing date will be given. The hearing will grant both parties the opportunity to plead their case. Each party will submit a written argument with 10 additional minutes allotted for oral argument.
The IWCC will consider all the facts and evidence provided and decide on the case within 60 days.
If the IWCC rules in the employer’s favor, the injured worker may further appeal the decision through the Illinois State Court System all the way up to the Supreme Court. However, courts only review claim denials on a discretionary basis.
Contact a Kane County Workers' Compensation Attorney
Thankfully, injured workers have rights. If their workers’ compensation claim is denied, they may file an appeal. An appeal gives you the chance to obtain the benefits you deserve, and it is also a great way to force the insurance company to the bargaining table.
Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. has been fighting on behalf of injured workers for years. They appreciate the circumstances facing their clients, offering personalized legal representation that prioritizes client needs.
If you need a Kane County workers compensation attorney, contact Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. today at 630-907-0909 for a free initial consultation.