CTA Workers Compensation Appeals
As a CTA worker, you face significant dangers on the job and may be seriously injured in a work accident. Some CTA workers that perform tasks in the office also sustain the kinds of injuries many office workers suffer, such as repetitive stress injuries. You can obtain workers’ compensation benefits so long as your injuries or illness are work-related. Unfortunately, CTA and its insurer sometimes fail to handle claims fairly, even when they are legitimate. In the event that CTA and its insurer deny your claim or certain important benefits to which you’re entitled, it may be necessary to pursue a workers’ compensation appeal. The appeals process can be difficult, particularly if CTA and its insurer believe you are malingering or that your injuries are not work-related, and it’s important to seek counsel early on. You should discuss your situation with the seasoned Chicago CTA worker attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We’ve fought for the best outcomes for clients for more than 60 years.Workers’ Compensation Appeals
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act establishes your entitlement to benefits as a CTA employee without you needing to establish fault. If the arbitrator that hears your case denies your claim or otherwise rules adversely against you such that you don’t get relief to which we believe you’re entitled, our attorneys may be able to file an administrative appeal. The appeals process can be complicated, and it’s best to retain counsel early on, as decisions made at the inception of your claim can affect the arguments and evidence that can be presented on appeal.
When appealing an arbitrator’s denial, our Chicago attorneys will submit a petition for review. It must be submitted within 30 days to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. We’ll also need to file a statement of facts to which both parties agree or a hearing transcript. These deadlines are crucial. If not met, the arbitrator’s decision will be final, and no appeal will be heard.
On administrative appeal, your case will be evaluated by three commissioners. They’ll examine the evidence at the hearing, along with the paperwork you and CTA have presented. There may be oral arguments. After this, the commissioners make their decision. It can take up to 60 days for a decision to be rendered.State Court Appeals
When either you or the insurer is unhappy with the decision by the commissioners, the decision can be appealed to the state court system. A judicial appeal starts with the local circuit court in the county where your workplace accident occurred. Our lawyers will need to build the case that the commissioners’ decision was not appropriate based on the evidence that CTA submitted. For instance, if the arbitrator or commissioners failed to adequately consider your treating physician’s opinion that you are permanently disabled such that you can never work for CTA again this could be an issue we raise in court.
If an adverse ruling is issued by the circuit court, it may be appropriate to appeal again to the Illinois Appellate Court. As with the lower court and the administrative proceedings, strict time deadlines and formal rules about the paperwork apply, but these rules are different, making it crucial to retain an attorney that understands them to achieve the best outcome.
The Illinois Supreme Court is the final stop for your case if you have received an adverse determination at the appellate court. The Illinois Supreme Court will only hear your case if it has given us permission to proceed before it. The decision it makes is final, and there are no further steps of appeal beyond its determination.Third Party Lawsuit
While a client’s workers’ compensation case is pending, and through these steps of hearings and appeals, our lawyers will also examine the situation to determine whether a third-party lawsuit would be appropriate. For instance, if you were in a bus crash caused by a drunk commercial truck driver just outside Chicago, we may be able to file a third-party lawsuit against the truck driver in order to recover damages.
In general, damages awards are more substantial than workers’ compensation benefits. They include the full scope of economic losses, along with intangible losses such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. However, CTA’s workers’ compensation insurer may enforce its subrogation rights; in that case it would be able to collect a portion of your damages recovered from the truck driver and trucking company.Retain Legal Counsel for Your Claim Against CTA
Our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys represent CTA workers in appeals in Quincy, Champaign, Rockford, and Aurora, along with Kane, Cook, Winnebago, Sangamon, and Adams Counties. We also handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims and third-party lawsuits and consider whether it’s appropriate to pursue these when reviewing a prospective client’s case. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.