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Will an Appeal Help Increase Your Illinois Workers’ Comp Benefits?

When employees are hurt at work, they are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  An injured worker should hire a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer to help with their case from the very beginning of their injury.  The evidence that you will need to prove your claim is what occurs from the very beginning of your claim forward.  The physicians with whom you choose to treat will have a significant effect on the outcome of your case.  Hiring an experienced attorney can provide the injured worker with valuable guidance and advice to prove the claim in the end.

Sometimes, the workers’ compensation insurance company for the injured worker’s employer does not make a reasonable settlement offer.  In such a circumstance, the injured worker has the right to have his or her attorney submit their claim for arbitration.  Arbitration is an informal process in which the injured worker and their attorney present the injured worker’s testimony, and the medical evidence in support of the claim, in front of an arbitrator of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.  The employer’s workers compensation insurance company has the right to have an attorney present to question the injured worker and present evidence of its own in an effort to defeat the claim.  The hearing may take from 15 minutes to a few hours, depending on the complexity of the case.  However, generally the hearings are short and to the point.  The arbitrator will consider the evidence and issue a decision about two months after the hearing.

Unfortunately, sometimes injured workers are awarded less than they feel they deserve. To make sure that benefits awards are fair, Illinois allows either side in a workman’s comp case to escalate the case through a series of appeals.

If your initial claims are denied, you are entitled to have your case heard by an arbitrator, a neutral party who conducts an informal hearing and allows both sides to present evidence. An arbitrator’s decision can be further appealed through:

  • Commissioner’s appeal. When a worker or employer is unhappy with an arbitrator’s decision, an appeal will be heard by three commissioners from the Illinois workers’ compensation board. In order to request this appeal, you must file a Petition for Review within 30 days.
  • Circuit court appeal. This further escalation brings the case into the state’s court system. At this point, the standards for overcoming a previous decision become stricter.
  • Appellate court. Less than 150 cases are decided at this level each year. While it is possible for this court to overturn a lower court, it is not common.
  • Illinois Supreme Court appeal. This is the last resort for appealing a workers’ comp case. The Supreme Court of Illinois rarely hears these appeals, issuing opinions on one or two such cases each year.

While good workers’ compensation attorneys will help you through the entire appeals process, they will also warn you that your chances of winning on appeal are very low. You also stand to lose benefits that have already been awarded.

Appealing a workman’s comp benefits award isn’t always the worker’s decision. Sometimes the employer brings the appeals. While appeals by employers are successful less than one-third of the time, it is important to hire an experienced workman’s comp attorney to represent you, as you could lose some or all of your benefits.

As your case makes its way through the appeals system, your arbitration award will collect interest, which you are eligible to receive if you are successful in your appeals.

The appeals procedure can be complicated. There are a variety of rules and deadlines which apply at every point in the process. When you need help overturning a decision by an insurance company or an arbitrator, the Springfield, Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys at Boshardy Law Office, P.C. have the experience and skill to help. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 217-544-8000 or contact us online.

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Settlements & Awards
  • Mattoon. 13 IWCC 0307.

    52-year-old worker. 9th grade education. Left hand tendon laceration. Permanent restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $436.64 per week for life.

  • Champaign. 08 WC 024676.

    54-year-old CNA. Bilateral shoulder surgeries. Permanent restrictions. Two vocational experts failed to locate suitable light duty work. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $441.93 per week for life.

  • Springfield. 07 WC 022228.

    66-year-old maintenance worker. Failed two level lumbar fusion. Permanent restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $538.36 per week for life.

  • Quincy. 12 IWCC 0936.

    56-year-old municipal worker. Lumbar and S1 radiculopathy. Permanent work restrictions. No surgery. Failed job search. Awarded $466.13 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout $581,730.00

  • Quincy. 12 IWCC0715.

    52-year-old CNA. Lumbar fusion. Permanent restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $420.33 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout $671,571.96.

  • Springfield, IL. 07WC33626.

    63-year-old truck driver. Four shoulder surgeries. Permanent work restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $802.61 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout $780,467.00

  • Quincy, IL. 09WC47036.

    56-year-old street worker. Disc injury. No surgery. Permanent work restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $466.13 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout of award is $586,577.99

  • Quincy, IL. 06WC39148.

    52-year-old LPN. Lumbar fusion. Permanent work restrictions. Failed job search. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $420.33 per week for life. Total expected lifetime payout of award is $677,571.00

  • Springfield, IL. 10IWCC0667.

    56-year-old union pipe-fitter. Injured forearm/surgery. Permanent restrictions. Job change. Wage loss. Awarded wage differential of $550 a week for life. Total lifetime expected payout is $833,804

  • Springfield, IL. 10IWCC0875.

    54-year-old union laborer. Spinal injuries and head trauma. Unable to return to work. Permanent and total disability. Awarded $642.50 per week for life. Total lifetime expected lifetime payout of $998,400

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    What happens if my workers compensation claim is denied?

    Lawyers at Boshardy law office, located in Springfield, IL answer your questions about what happens if your workers compensation claim is denied. If you need legal help with a work injury or workers comp case, contact the law firm at 800-595-5345. We offer a free consultation.
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