Work Comp Act Section 16

(820 ILCS 305/16) (from Ch. 48, par. 138.16)

Sec. 16. The Commission shall make and publish procedural rules and orders for carrying out the duties imposed upon it by law and for determining the extent of disability sustained, which rules and orders shall be deemed prima facie reasonable and valid.

The process and procedure before the Commission shall be as simple and summary as reasonably may be.

The Commission upon application of either party may issue dedimus potestatem directed to a commissioner, notary public, justice of the peace or any other officer authorized by law to administer oaths, to take the depositions of such witness or witnesses as may be necessary in the judgment of such applicant. Such dedimus potestatem may issue to any of the officers aforesaid in any state or territory of the United States. When the deposition of any witness resident of a foreign country is desired to be taken, the dedimus shall be directed to and the deposition taken before a consul, vice consul or other authorized representative of the government of the United States of America, whose station is in the country where the witness whose deposition is to be taken resides. In countries where the government of the United States has no consul or other diplomatic representative, then depositions in such case shall be taken through the appropriate judicial authority of that country; or where treaties provide for other methods of taking depositions, then the same may be taken as in such treaties provided. The Commission shall have the power to adopt necessary rules to govern the issue of such dedimus potestatem.

The Commission, or any member thereof, or any Arbitrator designated by the Commission shall have the power to administer oaths, subpoena and examine witnesses; to issue subpoenas duces tecum, requiring the production of such books, papers, records and documents as may be evidence of any matter under inquiry and to examine and inspect the same and such places or premises as may relate to the question in dispute. The Commission, or any member thereof, or any Arbitrator designated by the Commission, shall on written request of either party to the dispute, issue subpoenas for the attendance of such witnesses and production of such books, papers, records and documents as shall be designated in the applications, and the parties applying for such subpoena shall advance the officer and witness fees provided for in civil actions pending in circuit courts of this State, except as otherwise provided by Section 20 of this Act. Service of such subpoena shall be made by any sheriff or other person. In case any person refuses to comply with an order of the Commission or subpoenas issued by it or by any member thereof, or any Arbitrator designated by the Commission or to permit an inspection of places or premises, or to produce any books, papers, records or documents, or any witness refuses to testify to any matters regarding which he or she may be lawfully interrogated, the Circuit Court of the county in which the hearing or matter is pending, on application of any member of the Commission or any Arbitrator designated by the Commission, shall compel obedience by attachment proceedings, as for contempt, as in a case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena from such court on a refusal to testify therein.

The records, reports, and bills kept by a treating hospital, treating physician, or other treating healthcare provider that renders treatment to the employee as a result of accidental injuries in question, certified to as true and correct by the hospital, physician, or other healthcare provider or by designated agents of the hospital, physician, or other healthcare provider, showing the medical and surgical treatment given an injured employee by such hospital, physician, or other healthcare provider, shall be admissible without any further proof as evidence of the medical and surgical matters stated therein, but shall not be conclusive proof of such matters. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any such records, reports, and bills received in response to Commission subpoena are certified to be true and correct. This paragraph does not restrict, limit, or prevent the admissibility of records, reports, or bills that are otherwise admissible. This provision does not apply to reports prepared by treating providers for use in litigation.

The Commission at its expense shall provide an official court reporter to take the testimony and record of proceedings at the hearings before an Arbitrator or the Commission, who shall furnish a transcript of such testimony or proceedings to either party requesting it, upon payment therefor at the rate of $1.00 per page for the original and 35 cents per page for each copy of such transcript. Payment for photostatic copies of exhibits shall be extra. If the Commission has determined, as provided in Section 20 of this Act, that the employee is a poor person, a transcript of such testimony and proceedings, including photostatic copies of exhibits, shall be furnished to such employee at the Commission’s expense.

The Commission shall have the power to determine the reasonableness and fix the amount of any fee of compensation charged by any person, including attorneys, physicians, surgeons and hospitals, for any service performed in connection with this Act, or for which payment is to be made under this Act or rendered in securing any right under this Act.

Whenever the Commission shall find that the employer, his or her agent, service company or insurance carrier has been guilty of delay or unfairness towards an employee in the adjustment, settlement or payment of benefits due such employee within the purview of the provisions of paragraph (c) of Section 4 of this Act; or has been guilty of unreasonable or vexatious delay, intentional under-payment of compensation benefits, or has engaged in frivolous defenses which do not present a real controversy, within the purview of the provisions of paragraph (k) of Section 19 of this Act, the Commission may assess all or any part of the attorney’s fees and costs against such employer and his or her insurance carrier.

(Source: P.A. 94-277, eff. 7-20-05.)

 

(820 ILCS 305/16a) (from Ch. 48, par. 138.16a)

Sec. 16a. (A) In the establishment or approval of attorney’s fees in relation to claims brought under this Act, the Commission shall be guided by the provisions of this Section and by the legislative intent, hereby declared, to encourage settlement and prompt administrative handling of such claims and thereby reduce expenses to claimants for compensation under this Act.

(B) With respect to any and all proceedings in connection with any initial or original claim under this Act, no claim of any attorney for services rendered in connection with the securing of compensation for an employee or his dependents, whether secured by agreement, order, award or a judgment in any court shall exceed 20% of the amount of compensation recovered and paid, unless further fees shall be allowed to the attorney upon a hearing by the Commission fixing fees, and subject to the other provisions of this Section. However, except as hereinafter provided in this Section, in death cases, total disability cases and partial disability cases, the amount of an attorney’s fees shall not exceed 20% of the sum which would be due under this Act for 364 weeks of permanent total disability based upon the employee’s average gross weekly wage prior to the date of the accident and subject to the maximum weekly benefits provided in this Act unless further fees shall be allowed to the attorney upon a hearing by the Commission fixing fees.

(C) All attorneys’ fees in connection with the initial or original claim for compensation shall be fixed pursuant to a written contract on forms prescribed by the Commission between the attorney and the employee or his dependents, and every attorney, whether the disposition of the original claim is by agreement, settlement, award, judgment or otherwise, shall file his contract with the Chairman of the Commission who shall approve the contract only if it is in accordance with all provisions of this Section.

(D) No attorneys’ fees shall be charged with respect to compensation for undisputed medical expenses.

(E) No attorneys’ fees shall be charged in connection with any temporary total disability compensation unless the payment of such compensation in a timely manner or in the proper amount is refused, or unless such compensation is terminated by the employer and the payment of such compensation is obtained or reinstated by the efforts of the attorney, whether by agreement, settlement, award or judgment.

(F) In the following cases in which there is no dispute between the parties as to the liability of the respondent to pay compensation in a timely manner or in the proper amount and there is no dispute that the accident has resulted in:

(1) the death of the employee; or

(2) a statutory permanent disability; or

(3) the amputation of a finger, toe, or member; or

(4) the removal of a testicle; or

(5) the enucleation of or 100% loss of vision of an eye;

the legal fees, if any, for services rendered are to be fixed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission at a nominal amount, not exceeding $100.

(G) In the following cases in which there is no dispute between the parties as to the liability of the respondent to pay compensation and there is no dispute that the accident has resulted in:

(1) a fracture of one or more vertebrae; or

(2) a skull fracture; or

(3) a fracture of one or more spinous or transverse processes; or

(4) a fracture of one or more facial bones; or

(5) the removal of a kidney, spleen or lung;

the legal fees, if any, for services rendered are to be fixed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission at a nominal amount, not exceeding $100, provided that the employee is awarded the minimum amount for the above injuries as specified in Section 8(d)2.

(H) With regard to any claim where the amount to be paid for compensation does not exceed the written offer made to the claimant or claimants by the employer or his agent prior to representation by an attorney, no fees shall be paid to any such attorney.

(I) All attorneys’ fees for representation of an employee or his dependents shall be only recoverable from compensation actually paid to such employee or dependents.

(J) Any and all disputes regarding attorneys’ fees, whether such disputes relate to which one or more attorneys represents the claimant or claimants or is entitled to the attorneys’ fees, or a division of attorneys’ fees where the claimant or claimants are or have been represented by more than one attorney, or any other disputes concerning attorneys’ fees or contracts for attorneys’ fees, shall be heard and determined by the Commission after reasonable notice to all interested parties and attorneys.

(K) After reasonable notice and hearing before the Commission, any attorney found to be in violation of any provision of this Section shall be required to make restitution of any excess fees charged plus interest at a reasonable rate as determined by the Commission.

(Source: P.A. 93-721, eff. 1-1-05.)

 

(820 ILCS 305/16b)

Sec. 16b. Gift ban.

(a) An attorney appearing before the Commission shall not provide compensation or any gift to any person in exchange for the referral of a client involving a matter to be heard before the Commission except for a division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm in accordance with Rule 1.5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. For purposes of this Section, “gift” means any gratuity, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or any other tangible or intangible item having monetary value including, but not limited to, cash, food and drink, and honoraria except for food or refreshments not exceeding $75 per person in value on a single calendar day, provided that the food or refreshments are (1) consumed on the premises from which they were purchased or prepared or (2) catered. “Catered” means food or refreshments that are purchased ready to eat and delivered by any means.

(b) Violation of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(Source: P.A. 97-18, eff. 6-28-11.)

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