Filing a claim for compensation, time limitations for filing a claim and attorney representation agreements
To initiate a claim, an injured worker must file three copies of the Claim Adjustment Request (Form IC01) with the Commission. A separate application must be filed for each accident or claim. The worker must
1. A description of how the accident happened;
2. Identification of the part of the body affected; Y
3. Nature of the injury.
The employee must also include a service test indicating that the Claim Adjustment Request was notified to all interested parties, including the employer. Claims can be mailed or taken to any Commission office. There are no charges for filing a claim.
The Commission assigns an arbitrator to process the complaint and hold the necessary hearings. Workers' Compensation claims are processed in a three-month automatic cycle the arbitrator has a status call with the parties every three months and if neither party requests a trial the case is continued for another three months. After three years, the arbitrator will waive the claim unless it is tried or the parties show a good cause to continue.
Claims are assigned to the hearing site closest to the scene of the accident. If the accident occurred outside of Illinois, the claim is assigned to the hearing location closest to the employee's home. If the employee does not live in Illinois the claim is assigned a more convenient place for all parties.
Limitations of time to file a claim.
Generally, the employee must file a claim within three years following the injury, death or disability of an accident or occupational illness or within two years of the last temporary disability or medical bill payment, whichever is later.
The Illinois Administrative Code sets different deadlines for some specific conditions:
* Exposure to asbestos: The employee must submit within 25 years after the last exposure.
* Death: The employee representative must file within three years of death, within two years of the date of the last compensatory payment under the Workers' Compensation Act, or within three years of the date of the last Compensatory payment under the Professional Illness Act,.
* Occupational Illness: In most cases, the employee must file within three years of the date of disability or within two years of the date of the last compensation payment.
* Pneumoconiosis: The employee must file within five years of the last exposure or within five years of the date of the last compensation payment.
* Radiation exposure: The employee must submit within 25 years after the last exposure.
Attorney Representation Agreements
An employee has the right to have a lawyer represent him or her on a workers' compensation claim. The amount a lawyer can collect is limited by the Workers Compensation Act and must be approved by the Commission.
To request attorneys' fees, a lawyer must file a lawyer representation agreement form (form IC10) indicating the amount of attorney fees sought by the attorney. The form must be signed by the employee or the employee's beneficiaries (if the employee is deceased) and approved by the Commission.
The attorney's fee is limited to 20% of the compensation recovered unless the Commission approves additional fees after a hearing. If before the employee's representation by an attorney the employer makes a written offer to settle with the employee, then the attorney merely recovers a fee on the amount recovered in excess of the offer. However, the lawyer is not limited to recovering only 20% of the excess.
For informational purposes only. This is not legal advice.
Calle 26 Abogados, 3151 W. 26th Street, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60623, 773-831-8000