We frequently receive calls from concerned workers who have been told by the insurance companies which are handling their workers’ compensation claims that the claims are now “over,” and their cases have been “closed.” These injured workers are told that no more benefits will be paid, and nothing can be done to appeal or alter the decision. This is in spite of the fact that most of these injured workers have not yet been released from medical care, or even cleared to return to full duty work. Unfortunately, many people simply accept these statements from the insurance companies as true, and they assume there is nothing they can do to fight back. However, almost without exception, this is not accurate! Keep reading to learn more from one of the best work comp attorneys in Chicago, Brent Eames, about what you should do after an insurance company or claim adjuster claims that your case is over.
At the outset of a work injury, many representatives of insurance companies and claim adjusters will reach out to injured workers and make it seem as though they are solely there to lend a helping hand. Injured workers can be lulled into a false sense of security by these adjusters, who gain your trust only to dispute your case at their first opportunity. It is always important to remember that when it comes to workers’ compensation claims in Illinois, the goal of almost all insurance companies and claim adjusters is to keep as much of their own money in their own pockets as possible. Your case will be no exception.
Under Illinois law, there are only a limited number of ways that a work comp claim can actually be formally “closed.” The first way is a formal adjudication from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. If your case was filed with the Commission, and a formal settlement agreement and order was entered, then that would bring a formal end to the claim with very limited exceptions. Or, if your claim proceeded to hearing on the merits of the claim, that could also bring a formal end to your claim. Additionally, if your claim was subject to a formal dismissal order by the Commission, either voluntarily or involuntarily, then that could also bring an end to your case. Barring those formal actions by the IWCC, an insurance company cannot unilaterally decide that your case is over. It is always worth contacting a best Work Comp Attorney in Chicago at Eames Law Group, Ltd. to discuss your rights.
Aside from a formal adjudication from the IWCC, the only other way which could bring a true legally valid end to your claim would be the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Generally, an injured worker has three years from the date of his or her injury in order to file a claim with the IWCC. If no claim is filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, then the claim would become time barred, and would in effect be closed. However, it is still worth speaking to top work comp attorney in Chicago at Eames Law Group, because under some circumstances, the statute of limitations can be extended. For example, if your employer has paid related benefits for a prolonged period of time, but then stops, the statute of limitations can be extended beyond three years to a total of two years from the date which the last related payment was made.
Just because an insurance company tells you that your claim is over does not mean that the claim is over. It is not over until we say it’s over! The Eames Law Group is an experienced law firm that guides people who have suffered serious personal injuries and work accidents. They help residents of Illinois gain their lives back after accidents, by managing medical bills and financial setbacks. Brent Eames is a Chicago Work Comp Lawyer who will help people obtain the appropriate compensation and medical assistance after suffering an injury. For more information, contact us to meet with the Eames Law Group and learn about the legal services they offer.