Tips On How To Prepare For Your Workers’ Compensation Appeal
If your Illinois workers’ compensation claim was denied, you should not panic. You may have a chance to appeal your case and recover the compensation you deserve. Below, we outline the Illinois workers’ compensation appeal process and share some helpful tips on preparing for an appeal.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Appeal Process
If you disagree with the decision on your Illinois workers’ compensation claim, you may be eligible to appeal through the following stages;
- You can bring your case to an arbitrator appointed by the IWCC.
- If you disagree with the arbitrator’s final decision, you can appeal to a panel of three commissioners from the IWCC.
- If you disagree with the panel’s final decision, you can take your case to the Circuit Court and then to the Appellate Court.
- If you are still dissatisfied after all this, you can take your case to the Supreme Court.
Workers’ compensation cases are often resolved before they go to the highest legal authorities. Rarely are cases taken to the Supreme Court.
Tips on How To Prepare for Your Workers’ Compensation Appeal
The following are some ways you can prepare for your workers’ compensation appeal;
Tip #1: Understand the Appeal Process
Before appealing your workers’ compensation case, you should familiarize yourself with the appeal process outlined in the previous section. It’s vital to keep in mind that the multi-stage process of appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim can last for a year or even more and that you may need to present additional evidence and testimony throughout the process.
Tip #2: Gather Evidence
If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, take your time to gather all the evidence you can find before appealing your case. If, for example, your workers’ compensation was denied because of a pre-existing injury, assemble all the evidence that can help you prove that the accident worsened your pre-existing injury. Talk to people who witnessed your accident and have them provide statements. Also, gather testimony from doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who treated you after your accident.
Tip #3: Hire an Attorney
It’s in your best interest to retain a qualified attorney to help you appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim. By retaining a lawyer, you can protect your best interests and avoid making mistakes that can adversely affect the outcome of your case.
Tip #4: Do Not Discuss Your Case With Others
After your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you might consider seeking advice from friends, family, or co-workers. However, if you’re considering filing an appeal, it is best to seek advice from an attorney. Anything you say to friends, family, or co-workers can be used as evidence against you. You don’t want to, for example, say something about your employer to someone that can be used against you.
Tip #5: Beware of Social Media
Finally, if you are considering appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim, it is best that you take a break from social media and refrain from posting anything on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform. Employers, insurance companies, and attorneys can use social media posts to attack the validity of your claim.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Appealing a workers’ compensation decision can be challenging, so it is best that you don’t go at it alone. Our qualified and dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Law can help you with the appeal process. We can protect your rights and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.