The state of Illinois provides an alternative dispute resolution process for workers’ compensation claims. After an employee files a workman’s comp claim at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC), the disputing parties may hold informal settlement conferences while in the presence of a mediator, in an attempt to avoid entering arbitration altogether. Although these meetings are informal and there is a neutral third party to mediate, the process of settlement negotiations can be complex and overwhelming to those who are not familiar with the alternative dispute resolution processes.
If you have filed a workers’ comp claim with the IWCC but have yet to enter arbitration, then you should ensure that you are well-prepared to enter into negotiations. For assistance in meeting with insurance companies during an Elgin workers’ compensation claim, consult a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney.
Workers’ Comp Insurance Requirements in Elgin
The vast majority of both in-state and out-of-state employers conducting business in Illinois are required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for any employee who is working locally, contracted for work to be performed, or seriously injured in the course of employment within the state. This is provided under 820 Illinois Compiled Statutes 305/1(b). If an employee suffers an occupational injury while at their place of work, and their employer does not have insurance at the time the injury occurs, they may proceed against their employer in a civil action or file their workers’ compensation claim with the IWCC. If employers fail to obtain the insurance coverage that they are legally required to have, they may be hit with certain penalties.
For instance, if an employer is found to have knowingly failed to obtain insurance, the consequences may include the issuance of a stop-work order, which would shut down their business until they are in compliance with the law. Additionally, each day that an employer is legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and fails to do so will result in a fine of $500 per day, with a minimum penalty of $10,000 assessed for noncompliance. An attorney in Elgin could discuss the stop-work order while meeting with insurance companies in a workers’ comp claim.
Legal Representation in Workman’s Comp Claims
Generally, an employee can file a workers’ compensation claim on their own. However, in cases where an employer disputes the claim, it can be difficult for an employee to sufficiently pursue their case without the assistance of an attorney.
Attempting to pursue a claim without a legal advocate could have disastrous consequences. The IWCC’s decision is final and cannot be appealed if it is unfavorable to the employee. By hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in Elgin to meet with insurance companies and take the lead on litigation, an employee could improve their chances of receiving a favorable outcome by settling their claim before it enters arbitration.
Seek Help from an Attorney When Meeting with Insurance Companies During an Elgin Workers’ Compensation Claim
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a stressful and time-consuming process to go through. While workers are typically able to initiate a claim independently, once it reaches the stage of pre-arbitration negotiations with insurance companies it is difficult for employees to effectively seek benefits without hiring an attorney to handle their case.
If you are pursuing compensation after suffering a work-related injury in the course of employment, you are allowed legal counsel. To ensure you are adequately prepared for meeting with insurance companies during an Elgin workers’ compensation claim, call today to retain the services of a legal professional.