How to Get Workers Comp for A Work Injury
How to Get Workers Comp for Every Kind of Injury If You Got Hurt At Work
In cases involving a disputed slip and fall claim at work, it’s best to use a Chicago Workers Comp lawyer familar with work injuries to help you figure out how to get your benefits under Workers Comp. A lawyer who knows how these cases go basically does everything for you so there's nothing that can get screwed up, and it also gives you the best chance of success.
This is true in every kind of Workers Comp case, but different cases definitely have different twists and turns. My goal here is to give you good information no matter what your work injury is.
You Have To Meet the Deadlines
You have to notify your employer of the work injury with 45 days of your injury.
You have 3 years to actually file papers to start a case at the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission.
Miss either of these deadlines, and your case might be over. That means no benefits. It also can mean being stuck with doctor bills and not getting paid while off work due to your work related injuries.
If you hire a lawyer, the lawyer will track and protect these deadlines. This way, you do not have to worry about how to get workers comp.
The "Two Doctor" Rule
Under Illinois Workers Comp law, an injured employee gets to pick their treating doctor. Ther "Two Doctor" Rule says you get two chains of referrals of doctors.
If you go to more than two chains of referrals of doctors, that is considered treatment outside of what the Workers Comp Act requires. You risk being stuck with doctor bills, but you shouldn't have to deal with this sort of artificial complexity.
You should just be able to go to the doctors and not have to worry about it. This is one of the most important things a good Workers Comp lawyer can do for you if you get hurt at work. You don't have to figure things out about how to get workers comp and get the bills paid because the lawyer does it for you.
The Procedure Is Not Easy
By law, the burden of proof in cases of disputed workers comp claims rests with the employee.
There’s also documentation, hearings, and procedures you must know about if you plan to deal with it yourself.
However, it doesn’t hurt to know the process, whether you use a lawyer or not. The Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission makes a point to say that filing an accident report does not trigger any action by the Commission.
In addition to your claim, you must follow a series of procedures to request a hearing. There are also several rules applying to these types of cases that can complicate things. The following list gives a general overview of the process, but it is not comprehensive:
- You (the employee) file three copies of the Application for Adjustment of Claim and Proof of Service. The proof of service states that a copy of the application was served on the employer.
- The case is then assigned to a hearing site near the site of the accident. One of the parties must request a trial to move the case along. If not the case will remain in arbitration for up to three years.
- You must heal as much as possible before continuing with a trial. And when you are healed, you must prepare medical records, depositions, etc. to go to trial.
- At the trial you must prove which benefits you are entitled to and why. The employer does not have to disprove your claim. The burden of proof lies with the employee.
In some cases things go quickly. but in many Workers Comp cases take one to two years. However, a Chicago Workers Comp lawyer can help you win the best possible outcome for your case.
You can file a 19(b) or 19(b-1) petition which speeds things up. The commission must make a ruling within 180 days when a 19(b) or 19(b-1) is filed. If you want, you can learn more about Workers Comp and the procedures by getting this booklet from the Commission.
Filing a 19(b) or 19(b-1) has many technical requirements which a Chicago workers comp lawyer can help you with. Honestly, without experience, the average injured worker does not have a very good chancce of doing this right by themselves.
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I look forward to hearing from you to see what I can do so you can stop worrying about how to get Workers Comp.