The insurance company is defending your employer against your workers’ compensation claim. Their job is to spend as little money as possible on your claim. This might mean denying certain benefits, or turning your claim down altogether.
In their quest to spend less, they’ll want to gather as much information about you as possible. They’re searching for ways to deny benefits. They might want all your previous medical records, hoping to find a previous injury that they can blame for your current issue. They might want to come to your doctor’s appointments and talk to your doctor about letting you go back to work sooner.
It’s in your best interests to give the insurance company as little information as possible. They need some information. If they are paying your medical bills, then it makes sense that they need access to your current treatment records, as well as documentation of the costs. But your goal should be to limit the information they can access (and use against you).
The insurance company will ask you to sign an authorization that gives them access to your medical records. Signing an authorization is a necessary step in the process of getting benefits. However, you don’t have to sign this authorization as-is. It’s in the insurance company’s interest to make this authorization cover as many records as possible. They want broad access. You want to narrow their access to only what’s necessary.
You can try to limit the scope of the authorization so that it covers only records from the date of your injury until the present. You can also try to limit the length of the authorization. Also, make sure that the authorization doesn’t give the insurance company unlimited access to your doctor. Make sure they can’t talk to your doctor without your consent and presence. The insurance company might assign a “nurse case manager” to your claim and that person might try to influence your doctor when it comes to your treatment, the cause of your injury or your ability to return to work. You don’t have to allow this.
This might seem overwhelming. The bottom line is to understand the motivations of the insurance company and limit what they have access to. The best way to handle it all is to let your lawyer do all the work. If they are experienced in helping injured workers in Illinois, then they will know how the insurance company works and what to do to best protect you against such tactics.