There are worker’s comp cases and worker’s comp claims, and the two are not the same thing. Not recognizing the difference between the two can cost you in a big way.
Your employer is required to have worker’s comp insurance or to be certified as a self-insurer by the State of Illinois (which applies generally only to the largest companies in the state). When you are dealing directly with the insurance company you have a claim that is open with them, and that can get you your disability checks while you are off work and get your medical expenses paid.
Having an actual worker’s compensation case means that you have filed a formal document called an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the administrative agency in Illinois that hears worker’s compensation cases, the Worker’s Compensation Commission. There is no fee for filing the case. Filing the case stops the running of the statute of limitations.
What is the difference between having a worker’s compensation case and a worker’s compensation claim?
1. Having a case on file provides a framework for resolving any disputes with the insurance company over the benefits you are entitled to, such as whether you should be getting disability checks or the amount of the disability check and whether the insurance company should be covering some or all of your medical care
2. If you want to receive a settlement for permanency associated with the injury, you musty have a case on file. No worker’s comp settlement is valid without it being approved by an arbitrator, so the insurance company will not settle the case without a case being on file because settling your case without the approval of the arbitrator will not close out their exposure.
You do not need to hire a lawyer to handle file your case with the Commission, but once you do, you need to be able to follow the procedures for having your case work its way forward in the system. Not knowing how to handle your case once it is on file can cause all kinds of problems going forward.
If you have a current worker’s compensation issue which you need help on, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling us at 312-263-1080 to discuss your issues and what options you have. There is no obligation to hire our law firm, and there is no charge for the call.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who can benefit from this kind of information, please feel free to share.
We are here to help truck drivers after an on-the-job accident. Knowledge is power, and the first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are.