A reader asked us the following:
My husband was injured on the job about seven weeks ago. We filed the claim right away, but still do not have an answer from the insurance company as to whether or not they are going to approve his case. How long does this normally take?
We get questions like this all of the time, and it’s a good one. The answer is that it takes as long as the insurance company wants to take, and part of that is a strategy on their part to frustrate you and hope that you will just walk away or use your own insurance.
Under the law, they are not supposed to ever unreasonably deny or delay your medical care or payments for time off work. They try to get around that by saying that they are “doing an investigation” or looking in to the matter or collecting information, etc. Its not to say that they don’t ever do that, but the truth is that it usually can be done in a day or however long it takes to talk to someone at your job and get a copy of your first medical report.
So what is an injured worker in Illinois supposed to do in this situation? You have to be aggressive and formally file a case with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. This is the only way to get the insurance company to stop playing games and respond.
It’s shocking how many legitimate claims get denied or delayed for no reason. What pisses me off and should make you upset is that they are messing with your health and livelihood by delaying everything. I’ve seen minor back strains turn in to life altering injuries because proper medical care was delayed. I’ve seen people lose their houses because they are behind on bills. Its not right.
There are, of course, some cases where a work injury can be properly denied by the insurance company. That’s fine. It’s the no doubt, slam dunk cases that get delayed that get my goat. And the only way to deal with that is to file a case, file a petition for immediate hearing and penalties and fees and pressure them to do the right, lawful thing.
As always, if you have questions about a case, start a chat, fill out the contact form or give us a call to connect with an attorney for free.