I’m not personally on any social media sites, meaning that I never post, but I have a Facebook account so I can access a community happenings page where I live. It’s usually stuff about the local schools, restaurants, police activity, etc.  But the other day there was a post about workers’ compensation law in Illinois so of course, I had to turn that into a blog post.

The poster said that they were looking for a pain management doctor who would take a work comp case.  Someone replied and said that the work comp insurance should provide a list of doctors and that getting the referral through them would make getting the bills paid easier. The original poster replied that she asked the insurance company about that and was told that they don’t do that.

There are so many lessons about Illinois workers compensation law in this one small post. The first is don’t take legal advice from non-lawyers.  The well-meaning person who told her to get a referral from the work comp insurance carrier almost sabotaged the case. If they recommended a doctor, it would likely be someone who would be friendly to them and not look out for the best needs of the patient. It’s kind of shocking that the insurance company didn’t agree to recommend a doctor. My guess is that there’s a younger adjuster on the case who doesn’t know what they are doing.

The second lesson is that if you want a referral to a doctor, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to ask your doctor for a referral. In a case like this, I assume the injured worker is treating with an orthopedic doctor. That doctor would have recommended that she receive pain management treatment.  Every orthopedic doctor I know has relationships with pain doctors because it’s important that they can communicate about your care. If for some reason you don’t like the referral or can’t get one, ask your attorney who they recommend. There aren’t thousands of pain doctors around so in a case like this, any experienced lawyer should be able to tell you who is reputable and who isn’t. Even with that, you still want to ask your doctor to give you a referral because if you don’t you might lose your right to make the insurance company pay for it.

A final lesson is don’t post about your case on social media, ever. A car accident attorney I refer cases to had a client lose a $100,000 settlement because they posted about it on Instagram.  This poster didn’t ruin her case by posting, but she certainly opened herself up to people asking questions about the case and her responding in a way that could create evidence against her. I get that people love their social media, but I promise you that on every case, insurance companies and their lawyers are looking for your profiles and will be monitoring you. Even if you don’t post about your case, if you have a back injury and show yourself on a speed boat or dancing at a bar or swinging your grandchild, you are potentially creating evidence against yourself.

And of course, if you have any questions about anything related to your case or Illinois work comp law, you can contact us for free at any time.