Most people don't think about the workers' compensation process until they get injured on the job. Then they find the process to be complicated and frustrating.
Here are the four main steps in the workers' comp process in Illinois.
1. Report your injury.
While the law in Illinois gives you 45 days to report the injury to your employer, it is best to report the injury immediately after it happens. Then contact a workers' compensation lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that the claim is filed correctly. A workers' comp attorney can also help ensure that you see a doctor of your choosing, rather than go to a clinic or doctor chosen by your employer.
2. File your claim.
This step can be frustratingly complicated if you are not experienced in filing the specific kinds of documentation required. Many claims are denied because the extensive paperwork, including medical documentation, was incorrect. Medical documentation is extremely important to the success of your claim and the determination of your benefits, so it is crucial to work with an experienced workers' comp lawyer to ensure that your claim is filed properly and persuasively.
3. If necessary, attend a hearing.
An administrative hearing may be necessary if your claim cannot be resolved through negotiation. That means you will attend a hearing with your lawyer to address a variety of issues, including medical care, wages, vocational rehab, and the kind and duration of any disability.
4. If necessary, appeal a denied claim.
In Illinois, if your benefits are denied after the hearing, you have 30 days to appeal. At Millon & Peskin, we are experienced workers' comp lawyers who handle appeals before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission and before other courts in the Illinois court system.
For more on getting the workers' comp benefits you need and deserve, please see our workers' compensation overview. With offices in Wheaton, Arlington Heights, Rosemont and Chicago, we represent injured workers throughout the Chicagoland area.