When an injury has been reported to the employer, the workers compensation insurance company usually jumps into action. As discussed in some of our other topics, they will typically contact the injured worker or family and try to convince the worker that they will be properly taken care of. But it is quite unlikely that the claims adjuster r will ever discuss the time limitations involved or discuss that the injured worker is entitled to a cash settlement for the injury.
The right to a settlement is preserved only once a claim is filed with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. But the insurer has already told the worker that they have opened a case for them, so there shouldn’t be any cause for concern, right? Absolutely wrong. There is a huge difference between an insurance company opening a file in their office and filing a claim with the Commission. If you didn’t sign such a form, then one was not filed for you and the time clock is still ticking. It is incredibly unlikely that an insurance company will ever do this for you. It is just not in their best interests to do such a thing as they generally would rather give you less money and less rights, not more. Our attorneys on the other hand, can have such a form filed within 24 hours to fully protect you.
It is not uncommon for injured workers to find out years afterwards that they did not receive certain rights and benefits when dealing directly with the insurance company. A knowledgeable workers compensation attorney on the other hand will fully inform the client of their rights, pursue the maximum benefits available and most importantly file the claim with the Commission to fully protect the client.