There is nothing more maddening to a lawyer or client than an insurance company that plays games or denies benefits without any valid reasons. On some cases we can disagree with them, but at least acknowledge that they have a valid reason for fighting the case. But when they have no basis whatsoever, you wonder if it’s personal against the injured worker.
The good news is that when your TTD benefits are unreasonably denied or your medical bills aren’t paid, you can file a petition for penalties under Section 16 and 19 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Essentially this can require the insurance company not only to pay up when they acted in bad faith, but also pay you personally 50% of what the medical bills were, pay your lawyer 20% of that amount for lawyer fees and also subject them to a daily penalty over the TTD.
We recently were involved with a trial in Chicago on behalf of a suburban city employee. He needed a spine stimulator and other medical treatment that totaled over $90,000. The insurance company refused to pay those bills and had no reason for their bad behavior. The attorney we referred our caller to is great at taking cases to trial and not only won the case, but also got an order for an additional $45,000.00 to go to our client for the nonsense that they had to deal with. Attorney fees were more than $18,000 because of this, none of which came out of the pocket of our client. So this suburb that is struggling financially had to pay more than $63,000 because they acted inappropriately.
They also failed to pay TTD benefits without reason for four months. In fact, they cut our client off without sending him to an IME doctor. As a result they paid our client about $5,800 for that issue, plus more than $1,000 to us. Again, none of that money came out of our client’s pocket.
Instead of trying to help this poor guy get better, they jerked him around and cost tax payers a ton of money. It’s really pathetic.
From your standpoint, the thing to know is that if there is no reasonable dispute, the law in Illinois does provide for penalties. You just need a good case and a lawyer that is willing to fight for you.
We are workers’ compensation attorneys who help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys. Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.