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One somewhat unknown and often abused Illinois work comp law is that the insurance company and your employer can not talk to your doctor about your treatment without your permission. Before injured workers get an attorney, it’s common for an insurance company to assign a nurse case manager to your case and/or get you to sign a form that gives them permission. They create the impression that if you don’t sign or allow their nurse to be at your appointments, your bills won’t get paid.
One of the first things Illinois work comp attorneys do is make sure that the insurance company doesn’t talk to your doctor. This protects you because in almost every instance what they want to do is interfere with your medical care in a way that will save them money even if it hurts your health. Our goal is for you to get treatment based on what your doctor thinks.
Insurance companies aren’t billion-dollar organizations because they just give up. Stopping their tricks is like a game of whack-a-mole. You beat one down and another one pops up.
On a case we are involved in handling, an insurance company did something very sneaky. Once the client has a lawyer, the insurance company can’t talk to them. The employer isn’t allowed to discuss the case with them, but can talk about other things and often will ask questions about the case under the guise of acting like they are trying to plan for staffing.
The worker we are helping has a very serious injury and is completely off work. Their boss asked them to have their doctor fill out a form that could lead to them accommodating her with some restrictions even though her doctor has clearly said she should do no work right now. Basically, it’s a Hail Mary to try and bug the doctor enough that they say, “Sure, I guess you can try that.” If you don’t, then your TTD benefits get cut off.
It’s sneaky, probably illegal, and not done in good faith. I can tell you that our client really wants to get back to work. They also don’t want to make their problem worse by going back too soon.
You should never hand off a form like this without your attorney telling you that it’s alright and it almost never will be alright. This is a protection you have and should not let the insurance company violate those rights. I promise you that they don’t care about your health no matter what they say or how nice they say it.