One thing I’ve noticed in handling cases for over 20 years is that potential clients tend to have similar questions and experiences.  That’s in part because many insurance companies use the same tactics to try and discourage you from pursuing a claim or limiting what they pay you, even if it breaks the law.

A real common question of late is like this one I got from someone who started an online chat with us:

I hurt my wrist at work and have been going to the doctor and physical therapy appointments during work hours which has caused me to lose money.  Do they have to pay for me the time I miss from work for these appointments?

The answer to this question is it depends.  We chatted further and I learned that the doctor can only see her during work hours, but it’s possible to do physical therapy after work.

Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, if you can go to medical appointments for your injury after work hours, then the insurance company doesn’t have to pay you for time missed.  If you can only go during work hours then they do have to pay you.

Most doctor’s offices are of course usually only open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at most.  So if your job is during the day, you should be compensated for any missed time.  On the other hand, most physical therapy places have hours that extend until eight or nine p.m., especially those in the Chicagoland area.  So unless you have some specialized physical therapy that can only be done during the day, then you won’t get paid.

What is specialized physical therapy? That would likely be for someone who has a serious injury that requires more than an hour long session or someone with a unique injury who needs a therapist who has experience with their problem.

What you can expect is that you will be told off the bat that you aren’t going to get paid and the insurance company will make you do something about it to get them to follow the law.  It’s all part of a game to them and how they make money.  So don’t stress.  Usually we can solve a problem like this with a couple of phone calls or a quick court motion.