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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

How to Get Medical Treatment in an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Case

by Jared Staver in Workers' Compensation

When an employee is hurt on the job in Illinois, they can have their medical costs covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, eligibility for this coverage is not always black and white. As an injured employee, there are many details to consider, such as choosing the right providers and adhering to the procedures that are outlined in the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Call (312) 236-2900 to speak with the Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

Seeking Help and Future Scheduling

If you have been hurt on the job, the first thing you should do is seek emergency medical attention. Once an employee successfully obtains medical treatment, they must be mindful of how they move forward. For example, when you go to see a doctor, you should immediately inform them that you are receiving treatment for a work-related condition. This way, the clinic or hospital will know to send the bill to your employer. It is also best to give your employer the name of the doctor and the address of the hospital that was used for treatment. In most cases, the employer will also request past medical records. They need this information to determine whether or not they will accept the claim.

Some employers establish what is known as a Preferred Provider Program (PPP), or a network of specific healthcare providers. When an injury occurs at work, the employee must choose any two medical professionals in the program. This rule does not apply for care that is received before an injury is reported to the employer. When an employer does not have a PPP, injured employees may choose any two providers. Having access to multiple doctors can be useful when your injury is complex.

While employers want their employees to stay within the boundaries of PPPs, there are alternatives. If for example, an employee would prefer to work with their long-time family doctor, they simply need to submit a written statement to their employer. However, this request will count as one of the medical providers covered by workers’ compensation.

Employers Challenging Treatment

When you are injured on the job, the Illinois workers’ compensation system is supposed to help you obtain medical treatment and get that treatment paid for efficiently. Unfortunately, there are ways that employers frequently avoid paying for an employee’s medical bills. Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, employers are allowed to use a utilization review to determine the necessity of medical care. According to an NPR article, employers and insurers may use a person’s medical records and outside experts to challenge the legitimacy of a claim.

Imagine for a moment that you break your leg while unloading a heavy freight shipment. After going to the doctor, your leg is put in a cast and you are told that having surgery would help your injury heal faster. Upon hearing this, your employer brings in an outside physician who challenges the idea that having surgery is necessary. If the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission agrees with the outside professional, your employer may not be responsible for paying for this portion of your medical costs.

How Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can Help

If you have been injured on the job, proper procedure and the laws surrounding workers’ compensation may be low on your priority list. One small slip up in a workers’ compensation claim can lead to none of your costs being covered by your employer. The Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. have helped many people obtain coverage for their work-related injuries. They can guide you through every step of the claims process.

To find out how you can obtain full coverage for your work injury, call (312) 236-2900 now.