Illinois workers’ compensation cases are often a reflection of many things going on in society in general. One of those sadly is when it comes to opioids and their abuse. This has been a growing problem in the US and one we are seeing more and more when it comes to Illinois work comp cases.
Most workers who struggle with addiction to pills didn’t ever take them before they got hurt on the job. Then they get seriously hurt and have a surgery, causing their doctor to prescribe high level narcotics for the pain. Some of these doctors unfortunately do not monitor their patients well enough and continue to prescribe these very strong meds beyond a reasonable time period or when their patients are exhibiting warning signs of problems.
One thing about Illinois work comp law is that any injury that results from the initial injury is covered by the case. So if you break your leg and then get an elbow injury from using crutches, it’s all tied in to one case. The same is true if you have a back fusion surgery and then get addicted to pain killers.
If you have an addiction problem, you aren’t left out to dry. We can make the insurance company pay for addiction treatment and/or a detoxification program to help wean you off the drugs.
The reality is that if you abuse opioids for too long you are at the risk of death, especially as dosages and usage goes up. While it would be nice if we lived in a country where everyone with a drug abuse problem could get help, that’s not the reality. It is the reality for injured Illinois workers.
In one case, we were actually surprised to see an insurance company actually went to court to try and get the worker off pills and in to a treatment program. Usually we have to fight to make this happen as these are very expensive treatment plans.
Like anything else related to Illinois work comp law, we want you to focus on your health. This includes substance abuse. If you broke your leg at work, you’d get treatment and the insurance company would pay for it. If you develop a drug abuse problem from a work injury, you should similarly get treatment. And the insurance company should pay for it.
These are sensitive issues that we treat with respect and confidentiality. If you’d like to discuss a case, please call us any time at 312-346-5578 to speak with a lawyer for free. We help everywhere in Illinois.