One of the best ways to ensure a good outcome in your Illinois workers’ compensation case is to work with your doctor and communicate with him or her about everything. Your doctor’s opinion on how you were injured, the severity of your injury, what your treatment should be, and (when the time comes) whether you are fully recovered, are some of the most important aspects of your claim.
See your doctor right away. Obviously, this is good for your physical health, but it’s also good for your workers’ compensation case. The sooner you see your doctor, the better. Any delay can be used by the other side (the insurance company) to try and deny your claim. For example, if a lot of time passes between your injury and the time when you finally get medical attention, the insurance company can argue that your injury happened during that delay and not on the date you say there was a work incident.
Be honest and detailed when talking to your doctor. The honesty part, we hope, is obvious. It’s too easy for a lie to come out and that can be the end of your claim. You want your doctor to trust you and believe you when you say you are in pain. Also, be thorough when telling your doctor why you’re there. Explain how you got hurt, and tell him or her about your work duties. The reason this is important is because your doctor’s opinion on whether your work caused your injury is key.
Don’t see a doctor based on a recommendation from the insurance company. The insurance company is not on your side. To be clear, they are against you. It’s in their best interest for your treatment to be minimal and cheap. Also, the arbitrators (judges in these cases) know which doctors are essentially hired guns, and the opinions of those doctors don’t always carry the same weight. And again, your doctor’s opinion of your injury and recovery is key.
You might think we sound paranoid. Unfortunately, we’ve seen all of these things before. Our tips come from experience. The fact that you got injured is frustrating and outside of your control at this point. However, there are many things you can do moving forward that will help you get the best outcome possible. Hiring a good doctor and communicating well with that doctor are two such things. You can also keep a journal in order to remember everything that happened. Getting legal help, if your claim is denied or delayed, is another good way to prevent losing a claim that you should have won.