Sometimes, workers’ compensation claims get denied. They may be denied for a host of different reasons; for example, the employer might argue that the injury was not work related.
Although a claim denial causes stress and uncertainty for an injured worker; they still have options.
A worker may appeal their denied claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Appeals filed with the commission first go before an arbitrator. The arbitrator will preside over a hearing at which the employee and the employer will present arguments and supporting evidence.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the arbitrator will issue a decision either upholding or overturning the denial less than two months from the date of the hearing.
However, even if the Arbitrator upholds the denial, the worker can file a second appeal with the workers compensation commission. Three members of the commission will then review the decision and set a hearing date. The commission hearing, like the arbitrator’s hearing, serves as a trial in which both sides offer oral arguments and evidence supporting their positions.
Finally, if the injured worker still disagrees with the Commission’s decision, they can file an appeal with the circuit court and the Supreme Court after that.
A workers’ compensation appeal requires professional help
Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to manage your appeal gives you the best chance of success. A lawyer can identify critical evidence and provide a vigorous defense of your rights before an arbitrator or a commission panel.
Chicago-area residents shouldn’t hesitate to reach out. The State of Illinois imposes time constraints on workers’ compensation appeals; failure to act promptly could mean permanently forfeiting the right to appeal. If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out-of-pocket cost to the client.