Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, one thing you get are reasonable medical expenses to be paid to help you with your recovery.  Typically people think of this as doctors visits, physical therapy, x-rays, etc.  For most injured workers, this is all that you will get.
However, if you have a more major injury, there may be other items that are not traditionally considered as medical treatment that you can have paid for.
For example, I have represented a man who became paralyzed from the waist down.  In my years working for him, we’ve gotten him a special van that he can drive.  We’ve also had his home modified to work with his paralysis.  This was all achieved by having his physician state that it was medically necessary for his recovery.  Of course none of this is medical treatment, but it is enhancing his life.
Other clients we’ve worked with have had gym memberships paid for.  Whether it’s to get in shape or have a place to do exercises on a machine, this can strengthen your recovery.  Insurance companies don’t typically fight this because it’s actually cheaper than paying for a worker to go to physical therapy.  We don’t push for one over the other, but instead let your doctor dictate what you should do.
And recently, a reader of our blog called us to tell us how wonderful her work comp attorney is and suggest that we add him to our state wide network.  She had a major back fusion surgery.  For 20+ years she had slept on a water bed which wasn’t practical for the back problems she had.  Sleeping in it could worsen her recovery.  So her lawyer got the insurance company to buy her a new bed and take away the old one.  She looked at him as a miracle worker, but the reality is that while he is doing a very good job, it’s her doctor that suggested it which made it a no brainer.  The insurance company was motivated to go along with it because it makes the chances of her eventually returning to work much greater.
In the big picture, just think about what is reasonable for your situation.  If your doctor agrees with you, then your attorney should be able to make it happen.

We are workers’ compensation attorneys who 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.

By Michael Helfand