Guide to the Workers’ Compensation Process
If you have been seriously injured at work, you probably have many questions about how the workers’ compensation process works in Illinois. What do you need to do? What does your employer need to do? Do you need a lawyer?
At the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid, we understand the uncertainties that follow a serious work accident. Backed by decades of experience with injury law in Illinois, we help clients at every stage of a workers’ compensation claim. We look for every opportunity to help our clients obtain maximum compensation for their injuries, including third-party negligence claims when available.
Injured at work? Your first step should be reporting the accident. Your second step – calling an experienced workers’ comp and personal injury lawyer. Call 630-848-9294 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our attorneys serve clients in Naperville and the western suburbs.
Step One: Report the Injury
This is the first step if you have been injured at work. Report the injury to your employer as soon as possible after the accident. If you do not report the injury to your employer, your claim for benefits may be denied. Although an oral report is acceptable, you should submit your report in writing to avoid issues later. Include the date and place of the accident, a description of the accident and your name and contact information.
Your employer should inform its workers’ compensation insurer. If you are unable to work for more than three days as a result of the injury, your employer should either start workers’ compensation benefits, give you a written explanation of any additional information it needs or explain why it is denying benefits.
Step Two: Contact an Attorney
You should consider working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney early in the process, particularly if you are dealing with a serious injury that will require lengthy rehabilitation. Even if your workers’ compensation has been without problems so far, you may encounter legal issues later on. The workers’ compensation process is complex. An attorney can help you avoid problems with paperwork and make sure you provide proper documentation and evidence.
The Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid can also review your accident for potential third-party liability. A third-party liability case happens when you hold someone other than your employer accountable for the accident. A manufacturer may be held liable for a defective machinery part, for example. Third-party claims often result in significantly higher awards than workers’ compensation cases. Our firm handles both workers’ comp and personal injury cases.
Step Three: File a Claim With the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
Filing a claim means that your case will be assigned to an arbitrator who can order your employer to pay benefits. You may want to file a claim even if you are receiving benefits. Filing a claim can help protect your rights to receive benefits in the future. Our attorneys can advise you on whether filing a claim is necessary. If you do not file a claim within the deadlines for your type of case, you may lose your right to benefits. Your lawyer can advise you of the time limits for your case.
You do not need an attorney to file a claim. However, your employer will likely have an attorney during legal proceedings. If you do not have representation, you will be responsible for providing evidence yourself.
Step Four: Settlement or Trial
If you are involved in a workers’ compensation dispute, your case may be resolved through a settlement or trial. In a settlement, you and your employer will agree on an amount that settles the dispute. If you are unable to reach a settlement, your case will go to trial before an arbitrator. After the trial, the arbitrator will issue a decision within 60 days.
Both the employer and employee have the right to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. A panel will review the trial decision and conduct a hearing. Most cases can be appealed to trial or appellate courts.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
The Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid represents injured workers at all stages of workers’ compensation claims. Our Naperville-based law firm represents clients throughout the western suburbs and other Illinois cities.