If you cannot get the settlement offer you want, then you have the option of having a hearing to decide your case.

The more you know and understand about the process the less fear you will have.

It is nothing like you see on television.

The trials are considered administrative proceedings.

The Arbitrator is a judge who is hired by the State of Illinois as a full time employee.

There is no jury.

The Judge listens to the evidence and decides your case.

The insurance company has a lawyer who will represent them. The lawyer will question you and put on evidence.

You will testify about your accident, your medical treatment, and how you have recovered.

There are no opening statements or closing arguments.

The Arbitrator will issue a written decision.

There are no time lines for when the Arbitrator has to issue the decision. However, it is written and provided to the parties usually within 30 to 120 days.

Either side may appeal the decision to a 3 Judge panel of Commissioners.

This will take from 6 months to over 1 year.

After this either party may appeal to Circuit Court and finally the Illinois Appellate Court.

The majority of cases that go to trial stop at the Commission level.

I hope this takes some of the mystery and fear out of what happens at a Workers’ Compensation hearing in Illinois.

More questions about Work Comp? Feel free to call Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.