What Is the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process In Illinois?

workers compensation

Workers’ compensation is a critical safety net for employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. In Illinois, as in many other states, the workers’ compensation system provides financial support and medical benefits to workers injured at work. Understanding the workers’ compensation claims process in Illinois is essential for both workers and employers, as it makes sure that injured employees receive the necessary assistance while protecting employers from potential litigation.

1. Report Your Injury to Your Employer

The first step in the Illinois workers’ compensation claims process is promptly reporting the injury or illness to your employer. You should notify your employer of the incident or condition as soon as possible, or within 45 days. Failing to report the injury within this timeframe can jeopardize your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois.

2. Seek Medical Treatment

After you have reported the injury, you should seek immediate medical attention. Keep in mind that your employer may have a list of approved healthcare providers, or you can choose your own if your employer does not have a Preferred Provider Program (PPP). Make sure that you inform the healthcare provider that your injury is work-related, as this information is crucial for documenting your case.

3. Notify Your Employer

In addition to reporting the injury, you must notify your employer of your intention to file a workers’ compensation claim. This notification can be verbal, but it is advisable to provide a written notice to ensure a clear record of your intent.

4. File a Claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC)

If your injury or illness results in time off work or medical expenses, you can file a claim with the IWCC. It’s important to file the claim promptly, as specific deadlines are involved. The IWCC will review your claim and may schedule a hearing to resolve any disputes.

5. Employer’s Role

Once you report the injury, your employer must complete a First Report of Injury (FROI) form and send it to the workers’ compensation insurance provider. This initiates the claims process. Your employer should cooperate with the insurance company and provide any necessary information.

6. Insurance Company’s Evaluation

The workers’ compensation insurance company will initiate an investigation into your injury claim. This investigation includes reviewing medical records, statements from you and your employer, and any other relevant documents. The insurance company will determine whether to approve or deny your claim.

7. Benefit Eligibility

If your claim is approved, you may be eligible for various workers’ compensation benefits, including:

  • Medical Benefits – Coverage for all necessary medical treatment related to your injury or illness.
  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – Compensation for wage loss while you are unable to work due to your injury or illness.
  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) – Compensation for permanent impairments resulting from the injury.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation – Assistance in finding new employment if you can no longer perform your previous job due to the injury.

8. Appeals Process

If your claim is denied or if you disagree with the insurance company’s decision, you have the right to appeal. The appeals process may involve a hearing before an arbitrator or commissioner at the IWCC. It is advisable to consult with an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney if you find yourself in this situation.

Illinois’s workers’ compensation claims process is designed to provide injured or ill employees with essential financial support and medical care while protecting employers from lawsuits. Understanding the process and following the necessary steps is crucial for a successful claim. 

If you encounter challenges during the process or if your claim is denied, seeking legal counsel from our experienced Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer will help you through the complexities and ensure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Workers’ compensation is a critical resource for injured employees, and understanding the process is key to securing the assistance you need during a challenging time.

Speak With Our Experienced Antioch Workers’ Compensation Lawyers 

Seeking guidance on your workers’ compensation claim in Illinois? Robert Edens, P.C. is here to help. Call our Antioch workers’ compensation lawyers at Robert Edens, P.C. at 847-395-2200 for your free case consultation. Let our experienced team assist you in securing the worker’s comp benefits you deserve. We are here to advocate for your rights and provide the support you need during this challenging time.

Can I Still Get Workers Comp If Accident Was My Fault?

workers comp

Imagine being hurt on the job, such as falling from a ladder and breaking your hip. Suddenly, you are in pain, injured, and unable to work and pay your bills. Fortunately, Illinois has strong workers’ compensation laws, and your employer is probably required to cover your injuries, even if the accident was your fault.

Learn more about the law in this article, and contact our Illinois workers’ comp attorneys for additional legal information. Attorney Robert Edens has been recognized as a top-rated workers’ comp lawyer and is an active member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the American Trial Lawyers Association.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Overview

Illinois workers’ comp is a system of benefits prescribed by the law to most employees with a job-related illness or injury. Workers’ comp benefits are paid for any injuries entirely or partially caused by a worker’s work. This can include the aggravation of a pre-existing injury, injuries because of repetitive use, cardiac events, or other physical issues caused by work.

Importantly, workers’ comp benefits are paid regardless of fault. You are not required to prove how or why the accident happened, only that it occurred at work.

What Should You Do If You Are Hurt At Work?

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act states several obligations the employee and employer have after a job-related accident. They include:

Seek Immediate Treatment

You must get immediate medical treatment for your job-related injuries. How quickly you receive treatment can significantly impact how your workers’ compensation case is resolved.

Report The Injury

The law requires that you report your injury to your employer within 45 days. The report must be submitted on a Form 45. You have up to 45 days to report the injury because you might not realize you are injured for days or weeks. That said, you should report the injury as soon as you become aware of it.

Keep Your Employer Informed

You need to keep your company updated on how you recover and when you will return to work. Your employer will usually not let you return to your job without a statement from your doctor that you can and what work you can do. If the insurance adjuster wants you to have an independent medical review, you must comply.

Can You Be Denied Illinois Workers’ Compensation Legally?

Yes. There are cases in which you could be disqualified from receiving benefits. For example, you could be disqualified from receiving benefits if you do not notify your employer within 45 days.

Also, while you can receive benefits even when causing your injury, there are exceptions. Your claim could be denied if you were engaging in horseplay at work, fell, and broke your ankle. Direct any questions about the injury circumstances to our Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys.

Our Illinois Workers’ Comp Attorneys Will Fight For Your Rights

If you were injured at work in Illinois, you might not be fully aware of your right to compensation for being out of work. Most employers in Illinois must carry workers’ compensation insurance; yes, you can usually get coverage if the accident was your fault. For more information and a consultation, speak to our Illinois workers’ comp attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens at (847) 395-2200. Mr. Edens has fought for the rights of injured workers like you for over 20 years.

How To Scare The Insurance Adjuster And Get Workers’ Comp You Deserve

workers comp

The insurance adjuster plays a vital role in any workers’ compensation case. When dealing with the insurance adjuster on your case, it may help to keep the points below in mind so you can get the settlement you deserve. If you were in a workplace accident with injuries, the Cook County workers’ comp attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens could maximize your claim benefits.

Understand What The Insurance Adjuster Does

The first way to scare the workers’ comp insurance adjuster is to understand their work. The main job of the adjuster is to determine what they should pay you for your injuries. However, they work for the insurance company, and the less money they pay you, the better for their bottom line.

So, do not be surprised if the adjuster tries to pay you less for your workplace injury than you deserve. One of the reasons many injured parties contact an attorney is to get more benefits for their claim. When they understand that a skilled workers’ comp attorney represents you, they could be more likely to offer more compensation. Having a good attorney in your corner is an excellent way to scare the insurance adjuster, so use that to your advantage.

Provide Them With All The Information They Request

The insurance adjuster wants to see as much as possible about your injuries. So, ensure you complete all of the injury forms your employer requires. They may irritate them and make them harder to work with. When you provide all the information needed to your claims adjuster, they understand you are on top of your claim.

Do Not Negotiate Without Your Attorney

Another effective way to scare the insurance adjuster and get a better result is to let your attorney handle all negotiations. Keep in mind that the adjuster rarely has your best interests at heart. They want to settle your claim for less money, and if you negotiate with them, they will probably feel they can take advantage of you. Your attorney is an experienced workers’ comp negotiator and can better handle compensation discussions with the insurance company.

Do Not Provide Them With A Recorded Statement

If the insurance adjuster wants a recorded statement, providing it is rarely a good idea. If you show them that you will not allow them to record you, it can intimidate them and let them know they are dealing with someone who cannot be bullied.

The insurance adjuster is not your friend, and as an injured worker, you want to do everything possible to get more money for your medical expenses and lost earnings. Remember these guidelines and talk to an attorney if you need legal assistance.

Speak To Our Cook County Workers’ Comp Lawyers Now

If you were hurt in the workplace recently in Cook County, you are probably entitled to worker’s compensation. However, it can be challenging to get the maximum benefits you are entitled to, so please contact our Cook County workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200.

How Bengals Worker’s Comp Proposal Could Impact Pro Athletes

workers' comp

Most workers in Illinois and nationwide qualify for workers’ compensation if they are hurt on the job. However, how is workers’ compensation handled when the injured employee is a professional athlete? Find out more about this complex subject below, then contact our Cook County workers’ comp attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens if you need legal help with your workers’ comp claim.

Cincinnati Bengals Owner Tries To Scuttle Workers’ Comp For Pro Athletes

The subject of workers’ comp for professional athletes came to a head recently when the Cincinnati Bengals ownership attempted to insert language into an Ohio legislative bill that would make Ohio professional athletes ineligible for workers’ comp.

A Cleveland TV station reported last month that the bill’s current language states that athletes under contract for professional sports teams cannot receive permanent partial disability. If the bill passes the Ohio legislature, existing players on Ohio professional teams who are still under contract five years after they are hurt cannot file for workers’ compensation.

The bill also states that professional athletes must cover their medical expenses at the amount it is billed. This is more than the lower rate that companies and insurance companies pay under the state’s current workers’ comp laws.

Currently, workers’ compensation expenses for professional football players are paid out of the player portion of the salary cap. The normal workers’ compensation filing allows them to receive medical care in the future after their playing days are over, and they are not being paid because of injury.

Not Every Professional Athlete Is A Millionaire

It is a common belief that most, if not all, professional athletes make millions in their careers, so workers’ comp should not apply to them. However, the NFLPA, the league’s player’s union, which opposes the bill, argues that many professional athletes in the state do not make millions of dollars in their careers. The bill, the NFLPA maintains, also would affect players with longer careers who could not file a workers’ comp claim for an injury that occurred previously if more than five years have passed since the incident.

The language in the bill also would affect professional players for other Ohio teams, news report continues, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Guardians, and Columbus Blue Jackets. Also, the bill would affect workers’ comp for minor league players, such as the Cleveland Charge, Cleveland Monsters, and Akron Rubber Ducks.

NFLPA Fighting The Workers’ Comp Bill

The NFL players’ union is fighting the professed bill’s language to ensure that athletes in Ohio are still eligible for workers’ compensation if they have injuries they suffered while playing. The NFLPA said it is particularly concerned about players receiving long-term medical care for joint replacement and concussion care.

Contact Our Cook County Workers’ Comp Attorneys Today

If you were injured on the job in Illinois, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation, but handling the claim on your own could lead to less in benefits. Work with our Cook County workers’ comp attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens at (847) 395-2200.

Can Medical Marijuana Be Used For Pain On Workers’ Comp?

medical marijuana

Cannabis became legal for recreational use in Illinois in 2020 under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. However, state and federal laws on marijuana use continue to evolve. A common question in Illinois is whether you can use medical marijuana for pain while on workers’ comp. Learn about this important matter below. If you have questions about your workers’ comp case, an Antioch workers’ comp lawyer at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., can help you today.

Medical Marijuana Use In Illinois For Workers’ Compensation Claim

Some states allow medical marijuana reimbursement. However, Illinois still requires patients to have their physicians verify that they have at least one of 35 conditions to be prescribed medical marijuana. If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions, you need ‘written certification.’ This means having a document that is dated and signed by a doctor that says you are likely to have comforting or therapeutic benefits from using medical marijuana.

If you successfully get written certification from your doctor, you can use medical marijuana for pain for your job-based injury claims. However, your doctor’s authorization will be necessary no matter how you decide to treat your pain and injury under workers’ comp.

Will Your Employer’s Workers’ Comp Insurer Pay For Medical Marijuana?

The Illinois Compassionate Use Of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act does not explicitly state that a workers’ compensation insurance company in Illinois will cover medical marijuana. However, some legal authorities believe the insurer will be mandated to do so when all requirements in the law are satisfied.

On the other hand, employers might argue that paying for medical marijuana for a worker’s pain is not reasonable or necessary. If your employer does not pay for medical marijuana, you may need to pay for it yourself. Or, you can contact a workers’ comp attorney in Antioch to consider legal action.

Can An Employer Refuse To Employ You In Illinois For Using Medical Marijuana?

Illinois employers are not allowed to discriminate against you for medical cannabis use. Just having a medical marijuana registration card is not a justifiable reason not to employ you. The company may continue enforcing drug policies to promote a drug-free workplace. The policy must be enforced in a non-discriminatory way, though.

There is some gray area in Illinois law regarding the use of medical marijuana during a workers’ comp claim. A workers’ comp attorney in Illinois can be a helpful resource to determine what your options are for pain treatment while on workers’ comp.

Talk To Our Antioch Workers’ Comp Attorney

Using marijuana for recreational and medical purposes in Illinois is an evolving issue. It is critical to be aware of how the law is changing. If you are considering using marijuana for pain while on workers’ comp, an Antioch workers’ comp attorney at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., can assist you with questions. Please contact us at (847) 395-2200 today. Our attorneys proudly serve Palatine, Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, and Woodstock.