I have written previously that the insurance company can’t make you have a surgery.  In a follow up to that, a caller posed an interesting question.

My son was scheduled for knee surgery due to a work injury.  His doctor said that without surgery he wouldn’t be able to ever resume his old job.  During the pre-surgery screening he failed the stress test due to some issue with his heart.  Now the surgeon refuses to due the surgery because it’s not safe.  Will he lose his weekly workers’ compensation benefits?

That’s a really good question and a tough situation.  From a work comp standpoint it’s not a worry though.  His benefits should not be affected in any way.  Since he can’t have the surgery, if I was representing him I would ask for vocational rehabilitation from the insurance company which would help him see if there is any job he can do with what will likely be permanent restrictions. 

The other option is to see if there is treatment that can be done to reduce the risk of the surgery and actually make it possible.  There have been cases where doctors have recommended weight loss surgery and it became part of the workers’ compensation claim.

We are workers’ compensation attorneys that 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.