Steps to Take When Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, or IWCC, is a state agency that must remain impartial. They can answer certain questions about procedure and law, but they cannot give you advice. Only a workers’ compensation attorney can do so. If you are unsure how to proceed, you should speak with a lawyer. At Franks Gerkin McKenna in Marengo, Illinois, we can answer your questions, give you advice, and represent you throughout your case. We have 100 years of combined experience in the field of workers’ compensation.

Step 1: Gather Evidence

In order to ensure that workers’ compensation pays you appropriately, this is a critical first step that many people skip over. Immediately following a workplace accident is the time to record any and all pieces of information related to the accident. If there is any dispute later over the amount of compensation you are receiving, it will be to your benefit to have as much information at-hand. An attorney can help you to know what information will best support your claim.

Step 2: Notify Your Employer

Generally speaking, you will need to report the accident in full to your employer within 45 days of the accident. If you have contracted an occupational disease, you should report it immediately when it is discovered.

Remember: The sooner you notify your employer, the sooner you should begin receiving payments.

Step 3: Attend Your Workers’ Compensation Hearing

Once you have reported the accident, your employer is then required to report it to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If you are unable to work for more than three days due to the injury, the employer will be required to begin temporary total disability payments.

If the employer requires additional information before it will begin making payments to you, they will be required to inform you in writing. If they deny your claim and refuse to pay you, they must explain why in writing.

If your claim is denied, you can file your claim with the IWCC and request a hearing. When it comes to disputed workers’ compensation claims, you will want to have an attorney present so that you can present the most convincing case. Workers’ compensation hearings are similar to judicial proceedings. This means that you will have the right to present your own witnesses and to cross-examine your employer’s witnesses. This is not something that we recommend you attempt to handle by yourself. A seasoned workers’ compensation attorney should represent you at this hearing and help you to get the benefits you need and deserve.

Step 4: Secure Additional Compensation if Necessary

Sometimes workers’ compensation benefits are not enough to cover all of your accident-related expenses. But what can you do?

You may have options if this is the case. Depending on the details of your situation, you may be able to sue your employer or a third party for additional compensation. If you were injured by a defective product at work, you may be able to sue the manufacturer or installer. In addition, if it can be proved that your employer intentionally injured you or was intentional in its negligence, you may be able to sue your employer.

If your workers’ compensation payments are not sufficient, or if you think you are not being paid enough, it is critical that you contact an attorney to determine the correct amount.

The workers’ compensation attorneys at Franks Gerkin McKenna in Marengo, Illinois, can answer your questions and make sure that your employer treats you fairly during this stressful time.

Continue reading related pages about workers’ compensation:

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Can I recover lost wages due to my injury?

How Soon Should I Let My Employer Know That I Am Injured?

What should I do if I’ve been fired after being injured at work? Who can I talk to?