If you get hurt while working in Illinois, your company has the right to send you to a company clinic. One issue I’ve seen a lot this summer is that for whatever reason, injured workers are only treating at that clinic and it’s hurting their health.
As you can imagine, a company clinic makes a lot of money from the company. If they keep the injured workers off of work, the company will look for a new medical facility that will say what they want them to say. As a result, we constantly see these doctors sending severely injured employees back to work when they should be getting rest and treatment.
So what’s the solution?
It’s a simple one. You do not have to treat at this company clinic even if the insurance company says they won’t pay for you to see your own doctor (that’s a lie). Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, you have a right to see a doctor of your choosing and treat with them.
If you have a serious injury it is really important that you exercise this right. You need a physician who is unbiased telling you what is wrong with you and what treatment you need. You need someone who will not send you back to work too early when that can make your injury much worse.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for your health that you don’t end up with one of their “hired guns” as your treating doctor.
Bonus tip. If you have a back, neck, leg or arm injury that goes beyond a strain, you should have your doctor refer you to an orthopedic doctor as those are the physicians who specialize in treating those injuries. Company clinic doctors will often tell you that an x-ray is normal so you are fine. The reality is that ligament injuries as well as herniated discs can only show up via an MRI and that is a common test which an orthopedic will order to determine what is truly wrong with you.
This is all true even (and especially) if your wish is to just be fine and get back to work. Too often a company doctor sends you back to work too soon and ends up making a mild injury one that results in months of lost time and a surgery when a few weeks of rest and physical therapy could have solved everything.
If you have any questions about this you can always call us for a free consultation at (312) 346-5578.