Workers Compensation Appeals
Chicago Lawyers for Health Care Workers’ Appeals
Disability benefits provide partial replacement of wages lost due to work-related injury or illness. Healthcare workers have been placed under tremendous strain during the pandemic. They may suffer injuries due to overexertion, bloodborne pathogens, slip and falls, collisions with objects, equipment incidents and repetitive stress injuries. If you are a health care worker who needs to file a claim for benefits after a work-related injury or illness, and believe it may be disputed, or you find your claim partially or fully denied, you should call the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We have more than 60 years of experience representing injured people.
Workers’ Compensation Appeals in Chicago
Even legitimate workers’ compensation claims for benefits may be denied by an insurer. When you’re injured on the job, you should not assume an insurer’s denial is valid but should seek legal counsel from an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney. Denials may be issued based on administrative mistakes, a decision that your injury wasn’t work-related or because the insurer sees that there is a pre-existing condition in your medical records and improperly decides that this alone is reason to deny your claim.
If you’re a health care worker who has provided notification of your work-related injury or illness to your employer, but you’ve been denied workers’ compensation benefits such as medical benefits or disability benefits, you can ask for a hearing before the arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC).
The hearing before the arbitrator is similar to a trial in which a neutral third party, an arbitrator, hears both sides’ arguments and evidence, and decides whether the employer needs to accept your claim, and the value of that claim. If the arbitrator does not rule in your favor, our attorneys can file an appeal with a panel of commissioners. It’s important to be aware, however, that most injured workers that appeal the arbitrator’s decision don’t receive an increase in benefits. Accordingly, it’s important to seek representation early on and make sure your case is presented as well as it can be at the hearing stage.
Requesting an Appeal
In order to ask for an appeal, you will need to file a petition for review within 30 days of an arbitrator’s decision. Your employer’s insurer will also have the opportunity to appeal a decision that does not go in its favor. For example, if you are awarded medical benefits that your employer believes are not reasonably necessary or was set by the arbitrator in an irrational way, the insurer may appeal the decision. A panel of three commissioners from the IWCC will set an appeal hearing date and review the arbitrator’s decision for a legal error that could have affected the outcome of your claim.
Prior to a client’s appeal, our attorneys will submit an argument for our client’s side in writing. We also argue the case at the hearing and present evidence that supports the claim. Evidence could include both documentary evidence, like medical records, independent medical examiner (IME) reports, and testimony.
Within 60 days of the hearing on your case, the Commission will need to issue a decision. While the workers’ compensation appeal is pending, your employer won’t need to pay benefits awarded to you by the arbitrator, but if we obtain a resolution in your favor, the award will need to be paid with interest.
If you disagree with the determination made by the panel, our lawyers have the opportunity to appeal the decision to the Circuit Court, the Appellate Court and then, if appropriate, the Illinois Supreme Court.
Hire a Chicago Lawyer for Health Care Workers
If you are a health care worker who needs to pursue a workers’ compensation appeal, it’s important to retain knowledgeable legal counsel. Appeals can be challenging and both procedural and substantive requirements must be carefully followed. Our seasoned attorneys represent health care workers in Quincy, Rockford, Champaign, and Aurora, as well as Kane, Cook, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. Call us at 312-724-5846 or complete our online form.