Appeals in the Auto Industry
Injuries sustained at work can be painful and create significant challenges. Many workers do not have enough money in case catastrophic injuries require them to take time off work. The Illinois workers’ compensation system was set up to make it easier for workers to maintain themselves through a period of disability than it would be if they had to bring a civil lawsuit against their employer. Unfortunately, sometimes valid workers’ compensation claims are denied, or some of the benefits that are needed by an injured worker are unfairly denied. If you are have been denied some or all of the benefits to which you believe you’re entitled in connection with your work injury claim and need assistance with an appeal in the auto industry, a dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can represent you.Workers’ Compensation Appeals in the Auto Industry
Under Illinois law, you can file an appeal with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission if you’ve been denied benefits. One of the most common reasons that a claim is denied is that an injury doesn’t seem work related. In order for an injured worker to recover benefits, their injury or illness needs to be job-related. Further, there’s no coverage for injuries sustained in certain situations, such as when a worker was injured while perpetrating a crime, when the injury was the result of drunkenness, or when the injury occurred during an activity that wasn’t mandatory, such as a happy hour for the automotive team. Sometimes there is a denial because the worker was not on-site. It is important to consult a skillful attorney about whether a denial was valid in your case if you suspect it might not be.
The first step in the process when you disagree with a denial is to file an application for adjustment of claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. You need to file the form either: (1) 2 years from the last time you received benefits or (3) three years after you were injured due to a job-related accident or were disabled because of an occupational illness (whichever is later). The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission will assign you an arbitrator. At an arbitration hearing, both sides present evidence about the claim. You’ll need to present evidence about why you are entitled to particular benefits.
After hearing both sides, the arbitrator will issue a decision. Expedited hearings are possible in certain cases, like when medical or temporary disability benefits you need have been discontinued or you can’t go back to work and need medical or temporary disability benefits. You or the insurer may not be happy with the arbitrator’s decision, in which case you can appeal.Appeals of the Commission’s Decision
If you wish to appeal the outcome of your arbitration, you’ll need to petition the Commission for appeal within 30 days of the arbitrator’s decision. The petition should explain your reasons for appeal. It is wise to retain a workers’ compensation attorney to handle the appeal because there is a short timeline within which to submit certain documents such as a joint statement of facts or arbitration transcript.
Three commissioners go over the evidence you and the insurer presented at the arbitration hearing as well as the decision and any written arguments. It is possible to ask for a panel hearing to present oral argument. The panel can decide on whether the arbitrator’s decision was the right one within 60 days.Appeals in Court
You or the insurer may not be happy about the outcome of the Commission’s three-commissioner hearing. In that case, you can appeal to the Illinois circuit court in the county where your job is, where the accident occurred, or where the insurer is located.Consult a Knowledgeable Work Injury Attorney in Chicago
Appeals in the auto industry in Chicago can be challenging. If you need to appeal, it is wise to consult a lawyer. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent injured workers in Quincy, Aurora, Rockford, Springfield, and Champaign, as well as Kane County, Cook County, Sangamon County, Winnebago County, and Adams County. Contact us toll-free at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or via our online form.