When you are hurt on the job, you may be entitled to a workers’ compensation claim to help offset your medical expenses and obtain replacement wages. Illinois law requires employers to have some form of workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
Unfortunately, your workers’ comp claim may not be there when you need it. Fairly or not, many initial claims get denied and have to be appealed.
Why would your workers’ compensation claim be denied?
Your workers’ compensation claim can be denied due to a number of reasons. Some of these are valid, like filing your claim after the statute of limitations period expires or trying to file a claim for injuries sustained outside of the workplace.
However, many claims are unfairly denied or disputed. Maybe your employer questions whether your injury is even real, or maybe your doctor didn’t fill out the correct forms. If you believe the reasons for your claims’ denial are unjustified, then you should consider appealing your denial.
Appealing and winning your claim
Once you have established the reason your claim was denied, you need to explore your appeal options. Under Illinois law, you must file a Petition for Review with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission within 30 days or your claim won’t proceed any further.
Since the burden of proof is on you, it is important that you prepare and bring with you any evidence, including the medical records that formed the basis of your initial denial. This can be in the form of a second medical opinion, evidence that shows how your injury happened as well as any other material that can help strengthen your case. The more relevant information you can provide to the court, the more likely you will win your appeal.
A workers’ compensation case can take longer to settle. A claims denial can be quite upsetting. Understanding the reason why your claim was denied can help you file a competent appeal and receive the compensation you deserve for your damages.