The following information is provided by Wittenberg, Dougherty & Maglione, Ltd., as a very brief summary of how a Workers' Compensation Claim begins and is resolved in Illinois. The process can be very complicated and may require legal representation. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding this summary.
Application for Adjustment of Claim
The first step in a Workers' Compensation Claim is the filing of an Application for Adjustment of Claim at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (formerly known as the Illinois Industrial Commission). After this occurs, the Claim is assigned an Arbitrator and given an initial status date. The Claim will appear on the Arbitrator's status call every two months and will be automatically continued for three years unless it is motioned up for trial or other reasons.
Hearing before an Arbitrator
If the Claim is not settled it can be tried before an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. The Arbitrator is the finder of fact and law and will issue a decision after all the testimony is heard and evidence is presented.
Review by Commission Panel
The Arbitrator's decision can be appealed and will be heard by a panel of three Commissioners at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. After hearing the parties oral arguments and reviewing the briefs, the Commissioners issue their decision.
Appeal to the Circuit Court
In certain cases, the decision of the Commissioners can be appealed to the Circuit Court. After reviewing the parties briefs and a hearing, the Circuit Court issues a decision.
Appeal to the Appellate Court
The Circuit Court decision can be appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court Industrial Commission Panel. After briefs are reviewed and oral arguments heard, the Panel will issue a decision.
Appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court
In some instances, the Appellate Panel may find a case significant enough to be submitted to the Illinois Supreme Court for review. The Supreme Court issues its decision after briefs are reviewed and oral arguments heard. The decision is usually final and binding case law throughout Illinois.