Medical Benefits and Obligations for Workers Injured on the Job in Illinois.
You Get to Choose Your Own Doctor
• The injured worker has the right to choose his own doctor.
• Many injured workers are surprised to learn they have an absolute right to received medical treatment from a physician of their choice.
• Many companies send injured workers to their company doctor, and
• Not every company doctor has the best interest of the patient in mind as it relates to medical treatment and return to work issues.
Defense Medical Exam (DME)
• Since the injured employee has the right to choose his own treating physicians, the law provides the employer the right to have the injured employee examined by a physician of their choice.
• Failure of the injured employee to be examined by the employer’s physician of choice will cut off the injured employee’s right to receive TTD benefits.
• Since the insurance companies have the right of a DME, they use it to their advantage and, on occasion, will schedule an injured worker’s defense medical examination with very little notice, hoping the injured worker will not show up for the examination so they can suspend the worker’s TTD benefits. This results in a hardship to the injured worker and his family.
• TTD benefits will be terminated and/or temporarily suspended in the employee refuses to submit to a medical examination requested by the employer.
• The employer is required to pay traveling expenses to the employee for the defense medical examination and
• The employer is required to pay any wages that are lost if the defense medical examination is scheduled and conducted during a time when the injured worker is at work.
• Since the insurance companies have this right, they use it to their advantage and, on occasion, will schedule an injured worker’s defense medical examination with very little notice, hoping the injured worker will not show up for the examination so they can suspend the worker’s TTD benefits. This results in a hardship to the injured worker and his family.
• The employer is required to pay for all the medical bills incurred by the injured worker while he recovers from his injury.
• Although the law states that the employer is responsible for payment of medical benefits resulting from the injury for life, in reality, when an injured worker settles a case, the settlement contracts provide that he waives future medical bills resulting from the injury.
• By signing settlement contracts, in reality, the injured worker really does not give up or waive a real benefit because it is difficult for an injured worker to come back years later and prove that his future medical treatment was casually related to the original work injury.
• In addition, when a worker’s compensation case is settled, the injured worker should be satisfied that his doctors and surgeons gave him the best medical care possible and that he is not in need of any future medical treatment or surgery.
Two (2) Doctor Rule
• The injured worker also has the right to receive medical treatment from any doctor or medical provider that his original choice of doctor referred him to.
• The injured worker is also able to choose another physician to receive treatment from and any other doctor or medical provider that the second doctor referred the injured worker to, and
• The employer is required to pay for these medical bills.
To get more information about your injuries and benefits under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, call the Giacoletto Law Firm at 618-346-8841 or toll free at 888-346-8841 to speak today with an experienced Illinois worker's compensation lawyer centrally located in Collinsville.
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