5 things to know about workers’ compensation and your choice of doctor

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act allows you to seek treatment with a company selected doctor or to choose one of your own. Sounds pretty simple, huh? It's not. The choice of doctor can be as critical to your case as the facts or the choice of lawyer. Here's why:

1. You get one choice of doctor and all reasonable and necessary referrals there from. Choose wisely. I can name a dozen doctors in Madison and St Clair counties, and beyond, who are anti-work comp and will not help you even if your case is 100% legitimate.

2. Some doctors don't understand the "standard of causation" in Illinois or won’t testify in accordance with it. In Illinois, an injury might be covered under the Act so long as work "could or might have caused or aggravated" the injury for which medical care is sought. Some doctors read this too narrowly, especially in repetitive trauma cases. We can help you select a doctor who understands the law.

3. Some doctors take months to schedule depositions. So, even if you want to go to trial right away, we might have to wait as much as 6 months just to get your doctor's testimony (and we have to have it!). Then, the employer's doctor's deposition happens after we complete our depo. So, even if the doctor is very good at what he/she does, the choice of doctor also depends on your need to get the case moving. We know who to help choose and who to avoid.

4. Some doctors' offices are unwilling to work with their patients and the lawyers regarding collection of bills. Many others understand that this is litigation and that the doctors will be paid, it simply is a matter of patience. The stress of calls from collection services and doctors’ offices can be avoided if you let us help guide you to the right physicians.

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Some doctors seem to get better results than others. I am not commenting on who gets poor results. I never will. I will simply say this: your health is infinitely more important than the end result of your workers' compensation claim. You must pick a doctor who has a track record of good results even in bad injuries. Some doctors are quick to operate; some are slow....some doctors prefer non-open surgeries (i.e. arthroscopies); others always make a full incision. Some doctors seem to consistently have happy, healthy patients who regain some control over their lives. Those are the ones you want. Even the best doctors sometimes have bad outcomes. We can help you find the right doctor for your injury...for your geographic area...the right doctor for you. Just call us at 618-655-9499

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