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Voluntary Binding Arbitration For Illinois Workers' Compensation

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

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.

Although the decision of the arbitrator is binding, it is appealable through the courts. However, appealing an arbitration award to increase benefits or have them decreased (if the appeal is by the employer) does not often result in the desired outcome. An appeal can result in an increased benefit, no change in the awarded benefit amount, or a decreased benefit. The Commission warns that in most cases, the decision on benefits is unchanged or decreased, not increased. In addition, on appeal, the court cannot make findings on factual questions, and accepts the findings of the arbitrator on the facts of the case.

Just because an injured worker chooses to go through voluntary binding arbitration does not mean that they cannot be represented by an attorney. Seeking an attorney's representation may be helpful because there are certain legal rights that the worker gives up in seeking arbitration, and an experienced workers' compensation attorney can explain the repercussions of giving up these rights. An attorney can also further advise an injured worker on whether or not to seek an appeal through the court system.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance

If you have been injured in a work-related accident, you should receive workers' compensation benefits if you work for a covered employer. Although the law provides certain protections for injured workers, employers may not always follow the law on providing benefits. For more information on how an attorney can help you navigate the workers' compensation system, contact the Crystal Lake workers' compensation attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC to schedule a free consultation. We are ready to assist you immediately.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/faq.htm#Appeals

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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