One of the worst thing that Illinois workers’ compensation insurance companies do is take advantage of “go along” people. By that I mean there are a lot of people who will just go along with whatever someone else says as they assume they are being told the truth and don’t want to make waves. This is an insurance company strategy that saves (makes) them money by essentially lying to people to cause them to give up their rights under Illinois law.
The latest one I came across was a nice, older man who hurt his knee on the job. He’s never filed a case before and is ‘”not the suing type” so when he insurance company told him that he was limited to six weeks of physical therapy sessions, he went along with it. When they told him that he had to treat with the doctor they designated, he went along with it. When an unpaid bill came up and he asked about it, they told him they’d paid what was required by law and he went along with it.
All of this lead to him working on a bum knee for over a year, not getting any further medical care and now being in a lot of pain.
Unfortunately if he had known his rights, he would have seen a doctor of his own choosing who, if the physical therapy didn’t work could have extended it or done a surgery or other procedure. Had he formally filed a case, it would have stopped any bill from going in to collections.
The lesson from all of this is that insurance companies are not doctors, shouldn’t give medical or legal advice and don’t get to tell you what medical procedures are reasonable or not without a supporting, credible medical opinion.
If they do try to limit your medical care or not pay some of your bills, you should push back hard. In fact, in one recent case an insurance company had to pay the injured worker a $10,000 penalty fee for not paying all of their bills without good reason even though they had paid a lot of them.
Illinois workers’ compensation law protects injured workers who are legitimately hurt on the job. The only way the law doesn’t work for you is when you don’t know your rights and an insurance company uses that to their advantage.
As always, if you have any questions about a case and want to talk to an attorney for free, start a chat, call us or fill out the contact form.