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Voluntary Binding Arbitration For Illinois Workers' CompensationNot all workers' compensation cases are handled quickly, regardless of how much the injured worker needs the benefits. Sometimes there are issues that need to be resolved through the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. However, if the commission rules against the injured worker, the appeals process can last even longer. When injured workers want to seek another avenue to expedite their claims or appeals, they can opt to go through what is known as voluntary arbitration.

Voluntary binding arbitration under the Illinois workers' compensation law is a process through which the parties' disputes as to the injured worker's claims are submitted to a neutral arbitrator selected from a group of names provided by the State of Illinois. The parties can also agree to submit the arbitration to the American Arbitration Association. Once the parties present their evidence and arguments, the arbitrator makes a final decision which is adopted as the decision of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.

Voluntary binding arbitration is available only when certain claims are at issue. Claimants can request voluntary arbitration by filing an application form with the Commission when there is a dispute as to temporary total disability (TTD), permanent partial disability (PPD), or medical expenses.


Crystal Lake workers' compensation attorneys, Workers' Compensation Benefits Following An Employee's DeathWorkplace accidents that result in injury or death can change an employee's life, and if he has dependents relying on his income, it can also mean drastic changes to their way of life as well. What the employee may begin to wonder is how his dependents will be looked after if he should pass away. Fortunately, as one of the employee's rights under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, there are certain benefits that can be passed on to the dependents after an employee dies.

If a person has already begun a claim for benefits, the administrator of the person's estate, or the dependents may substitute themselves in the person's place in order to receive any benefits the person would have received before death. All benefits that were recoverable by the decedent are recoverable by eligible dependents. Even if the injured employee passes away from a cause unrelated to the injuries suffered at work, the benefits that were due before the death would still be passed on. The law further instructs on how the benefits should be distributed between a spouse and other dependents.

If the employee dies as a result of the workplace injury before filing a claim for benefits, the dependents may also be able to recover death benefits which may cover any medical expenses, as well as funeral expenses. Death benefits are paid out monthly for a period of 25 years or for a total of $500,000, whichever is greater. The amount in monthly payments is based on a percentage of the average of the deceased employee's gross average weekly wage for the 52 weeks before his death, subject to minimum and maximum figures. Payments payable to a surviving spouse may be settled for a lump sum of two years' worth of the monthly death benefit amount if the spouse remarries and there are no children from the first marriage. However, the dependents should keep in mind that if the death was as a result of negligence by another party, the family can pursue a wrongful death claim outside the workers' compensation system.


Chiropractic Care Under Illinois Workers' CompensationInjuries to the back and neck can be particularly troublesome due to the recurring or persistent pain and discomfort that comes with them. It is not uncommon for injured employees to seek additional assistance coping with this pain by consulting a chiropractor. However, some employees may be hesitant to take on such expenses if they will not be covered along with their medical expenses under workers' compensation.

A chiropractor is a medical professional who diagnoses and treats conditions arising from the neuromusculoskeletal system and focuses on treatment through manual manipulation and adjustment of the patient's spine and muscles. A chiropractor is not a medical doctor, although chiropractors are referred to as doctors of chiropractic. While some people are skeptical of chiropractic treatments, they are often favored by others because of their non-chemical and non-surgical approach to pain relief and management.

Through workers' compensation, an employer covers all of an employee's medical expenses that are deemed to be reasonable and necessary when the employee suffers a work-related injury. Under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, chiropractic care may be covered by workers' compensation as long as it is considered reasonable and necessary to treating an injured worker's injuries. In some cases, the employer may try to limit the number of times the employee can keep returning to a chiropractor on the grounds that the treatment is unnecessary.


Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Illinois retaliatory discharge, Crystal Lake Workers' Compensation LawyerIn workers' compensation cases, there are employers who sometimes decide to discourage employees from filing for the benefits afforded to them under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. Demoting employees or threatening to fire those who file a claim for benefits are some of the tactics these unscrupulous employers may use. An injured employee who finds himself in this situation should know that there may be legal assistance available to ensure he or she receives both the workers' compensation benefits as well as additional compensation for the employer's actions.

Firing an employee because he or she filed for workers' compensation is called retaliation. The Workers' Compensation Act considers this retaliation unlawful, and Illinois courts have recognized an employee's right to seek compensation for an employer's retaliation. This right is in addition to any other fines that may be levied against the employer by governmental agencies for the same conduct. The rights are provided to employees because retaliatory discharge is considered to be against public policy.

An employer may try to pressure an employee into quitting by refusing to modify the employee's duties to accommodate his or her injuries, or may fail to pay any temporary workers' compensation benefits. The employer may even reassign the employee to a less desirable position or require him or her to reapply for a position. These actions aimed at forcing the employee to resign instead of be discharged could be just as unlawful as retaliatory discharge. If a jury analyzes the employer's conduct and decides that it was particularly aimed at making the employee's situation so bad that the employee would quit or fail to file for workers' compensation benefits, it may award punitive damages against the employer.


Illinois on-the-job injuries, Crystal Lake Workers' Compensation LawyerSometimes an employee's work-related injuries are caused by the negligence of a third party. For example, this may occur when an employee on a work-related errand is involved in a car accident with another driver and sustains serious injuries. When this happens, the employee may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits as well as additional compensation from the third party driver.

If the injured employee involved in a car accident is a covered employee under the law, he or she would receive workers' compensation benefits from his or her employer following the accident. In addition, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act allows for claims to be made against third parties who cause the employee's injuries through negligence. The claim against the third party would be a personal injury lawsuit filed by the injured person or his representative. In order to receive money damages from the third party driver, the injured employee would have to show that the accident was caused by the other driver.

The ability to gain workers' compensation benefits while pursuing a claim against the third party driver can make a world of difference to the employee, especially if the injuries are serious enough to keep him or her from working.

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