If you were injured or fell ill on the job, and if it was a result of doing your job, your employer owes you compensation for the costs of that injury. Part of that means paying for your medical expenses, including doctor’s office visits and treatment from healthcare providers.
You employer may try to refuse your claim, however, and at times, they may have legal backing for doing so. Knowing your rights and avoiding legal pitfalls is vital to successfully pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, so contact our lawyers right away. At Hart & David, we have successfully secured workers’ compensation benefits for numerous clients. Our track record speaks volumes for our ability to defend you.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act
Your employer may try to deny compensation based on your choice of doctor. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, you have a right to choose your own doctor. As the act states, you can choose up to two (2) doctors of your choice to treat you for your work injuries. Your employer is obligated to compensate you for the treatment they provide if that treatment is necessary and if the injury resulted from your work.
In addition, you are also entitled to compensation for any physicians your doctors refer you to for treatment. However, the chain of referral must connect back to your chosen doctor, and the treatments must be deemed necessary, which is where it comes in handy to have a lawyer on your side. Otherwise, your employer may try to deny you compensation on the grounds that either:
- The treatment wasn’t necessary, or
- The chain of referral didn’t connect to the initial physician.
There is one caveat to all this, however. Under certain circumstances, you might not have full rights to choose your own doctors for treatment. This is due to recent changes in the law.
Preferred Provider Program
If your employer has a Preferred Provider Program (PPP), they can limit your ability to choose your own doctors. For this to happen, they must notify their employees that they maintain a PPP and have physicians in the program. This creates a pitfall that is easy for injured employees to fall into. However, it doesn’t mean you have no choice whatsoever in the matter. In the case of a PPP, you have two options:
- You can seek medical care from a healthcare provider in the PPP.
- You can choose one (1) doctor of your own for treatment.
You cannot choose both options; it’s only one or the other. The rules for referrals still apply, however, so if the doctor you choose refers you to a specialist for a certain procedure, for example, you can still claim the cost of seeing that specialist under workers’ compensation.
Getting Legal Aid
It’s important to have a clear idea of what to expect when you are seeking compensation for a work-related injury. First, be sure to know whether your employer has a PPP. If they don’t—or if they haven’t notified their employees that they have one—then you are free to choose two doctors. If they do have one, make your decision of healthcare provider wisely.
Throughout the process, be sure to have the skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at Hart & David on your side. We can provide the legal clout you need to recover monetary compensation for your work related injury, so contact us today.