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Initial Claims for Injured Auto Workers

Chicago Lawyers for Employees Harmed on the Job

In Chicago, workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to cover all of an employee’s injuries that are job-related. If you’re an auto worker, there are many ways in which you can be injured or made sick on the job. You may be injured while performing work-related tasks at an employer’s request, either at an auto manufacturing plant or off site. A covered injury may be wholly new, or it may involve the exacerbation of a pre-existing condition. If you concerned about an initial claims for injured auto workers, an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help.

Initial Claims for Injured Auto Workers

If you’re an auto worker who has suffered job-related injuries, you should notify your employer in writing as soon as possible. Often employment handbooks provide a specific procedure for providing this notification. You should submit a written description of what happened, and include details; email can be a good way to provide notification because it is an easy way for you to keep a copy of what you sent. You need to give this written notice within 45 days of the work incident. You shouldn’t wait more than 45 days to notify your employer, even if you intend to file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC).

If you delay and provide notice more than 45 days after the incident, you run the risk of losing your right to workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, if you delay even a few weeks after the incident, the insurer may come to believe you were injured somewhere other than work. If your claim is based on an occupational disease, rather than an injury, you should let your employer know as soon as you become aware of the work-related condition.

The written notice should include not only a description of what happened leading up to the injury, but also the date and time of the accident, as well as a description of your injuries. You should include your contact information. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can answer any questions you may have about giving notice of your injury or illness to your employer.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

The IWCC oversees the state’s workers’ compensation claims. You should file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the IWCC within three years of your injury date. You may begin receiving benefits immediately and assume you don’t need to file this application. However, if you and the insurer disagree later on, or you suddenly stop getting benefits, having a claim already on file will quicken the resolution of this disagreement.

There are exceptions to the three-year rule. For example, for an asbestos-related injury like mesothelioma, you need to provide notice within 25 years of the last exposure. For another example, with pneumoconiosis, you need to provide notice within five years of the last exposure. Your application should be sent to both your employer and the IWCC. After that, the IWCC will mail you and your employer a notice of hearing. This will give the date of the first status hearing as well as the name of the arbitrator who will preside over it. After that, you and your attorney need to check the IWCC website for future status hearings, as these aren’t provided by written notice. There are status dates for the first three years of the claim.

You and your employer only need to appear on the status hearing date if one of you asks for a trial or if one of you is asking the arbitrator assigned to your claim to resolve it. Otherwise you can have your attorney appear for you.

Once a claim has been pending for at least three years, it needs to go to trial or be dismissed. If you don’t want to go to trial, you’ll need to attend a status call prior to the termination of the three-year period, and you need to complete an arbitration case information form.

Retain a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

If you have questions about initial claims for injured auto workers in Chicago, you can contact us. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers represent injured auto workers in claims and appeals in Champaign, Quincy, Aurora, and Rockford, along with Sangamon, Adams, Kane, Cook, Sangamon, and Winnebago Counties. We will look closely at your injuries to determine whether you’re eligible for relief outside of the workers’ compensation as well. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.