There is a doctor with offices in the Champaign area who has made quite the living as an IME doctor for insurance companies and company doctor for some of the local big businesses down there. He gets a ton of work and I assume makes a ton of money. Some might even call him a hired gun.
I met him years ago at a deposition in his office and he’s a nice guy, but clearly favors the employer side of things in my opinion. That, in of itself, is not highly unusual. There are many physicians who have made millions operating in a similar manner. Most are in the Chicago area, but some are downstate like him.
I’m not posting because he’s a hired gun. I’m posting because now two people have told me something that I find shocking. They said that when their company sent them to him for an examination, he said that they need a lawyer and then told them to hire a specific law firm out of Chicago. Even more crazy is that I looked up the woman he was recommending and while she is an injury attorney, her practice isn’t focused on just work comp and she lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago.
In other words, it’s not convenient for her to get to central Illinois and she doesn’t only handle work injury cases. On top of that, she also represents the defense side of the practice. She might be a great workers’ compensation attorney, but she certainly isn’t the best choice for an injured worker in central Illinois. I’d never hire a lawyer who also defends insurance companies or employers and I certainly wouldn’t recommend you hire a lawyer who isn’t doing a ton of work in your area.
It’s a HUGE conflict of interest for an IME doctor or anyone connected to the employer or insurance company to recommend a lawyer for you. It’s honestly close to something that should result in him losing his license. And while I have no proof this is happening, you can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of a quid pro quo going on because it’s so bizarre that a central Illinois doctor would try to get injured workers to hire a Chicago area attorney. Maybe they do work together on her defense cases. Who knows, but it doesn’t pass the smell test in my opinion.
I can’t believe I even have to say this, but DON’T LET THE INSURANCE COMPANY OR IME DOCTOR OR YOUR EMPLOYER TELL YOU WHAT LAWYER TO HIRE!!! If they told you to hire me, I’d think that’s suspicious. If they told you to hire someone I think is great I’d find it suspicious. They have no motivation to help you.
While I can’t say for certain that this doctor is trying to screw over injured workers, the most recent caller did tell me that the lawyer did a terrible job and the IME doctor called his treating doctor to try and get him to say that the problems are not work related. It’s all fishy and if true, despicable.
That’s my rant for the day. As always, if you have any questions about Illinois work comp law, please contact us.