You’ve been injured on the job and have filed a workers’ comp claim. Now what?
There are various workers’ compensation hearing sites in the state of Illinois. Once you file a claim, the hearing site that is closest to where your work accident took place will be assigned to your case. If the accident happened outside of the state of Illinois, the hearing site that is closest to your home will be assigned. (If you live outside of Illinois, the case will be assigned to the site that is most convenient to the parties involved in your case.)
After some major reforms took place in Illinois in 2012, the state now has 30 arbitrators. By law, all of the arbitrators are attorneys and abide by the ethical practices and rules of Judges. Not only do Illinois’ arbitrators have numerous years of experience judging workers’ comp claims, they must receive 20 hours of education every 2 years on ethical and professional standards; evidence-based healthcare treatment; fraud detection; and, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (also called black lung disease.) Once arbitrators complete training, they are assigned to a specific territory.
Part of the 2012 Illinois reform was the creation of a “rotating arbitrator” mandate. This was put in place to prevent close relationships from developing between arbitrators and attorneys that work at certain locations on a regular basis. There are 16 hearing locations. Three arbitrators circulate within each region and hear randomly assigned cases. The goal of the system is for you to have an experienced and impartial arbitrator. That’s great—but it’s important of course to take charge of your case to fully protect yourself. How do you do that? By hiring your own attorney. It is always recommended that you obtain an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to work with you after filing a claim. Your lawyer will advocate for you and work towards achieving the compensation that you deserve after suffering a workplace accident.
So—your claim is filed. The hearing site closest to the accident location is assigned. An impartial and experienced arbitrator is randomly assigned to your case. You have secured a personal workers’ comp attorney. You are now armed with everything you need to get your claim moving along and steps closer to getting your workers’ comp payout.
For help with your workers’ compensation claim, contact us or give us a call at 773-522-7000.