When an employee is hurt or becomes ill from an accident or exposure at their job in Illinois, they are generally entitled to receive paid medical treatment under the Worker’s Compensation Act. It is important that all workers understand their rights to these medical benefits and know how to ensure that they get coverage for all their medical bills relating to the work injury, especially injuries that may require long-term medical care.
If you are an Illinois worker and have questions about your medical benefits, we invite you to contact our office for a free consultation with an attorney who can answer your questions regarding your legal rights. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers regularly prosecutes workers compensation cases when medical benefits have been denied or delayed. Contact our office for a free case review.
What Medical Treatments Worker’s Compensation Covers
According to the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, employees are entitled to receive “medical care that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the employee of the effects of the injury”. Although vague, this covers most medical costs such as:
- First aid
- Medical transport (ambulance/helicopter)
- Emergency room and hospital bills
- Physician visits
- Medical treatments
- Medical devices
- Institutional care
Employees are allowed to choose their own doctor, medical facility and treatments, which the employer is required to pay. However all medical facilities treating worker injuries under the Worker’s Compensation Act are required to give full reports when requested by writing from the employee, employer or the Worker’s Compensation Commission.
What To Do If You Are Injured At Work in Illinois?
If you are injured or become ill due to your work environment, first and foremost you need to seek medical treatment. As soon as possible, you should notify your employer that you have been injured, either orally or in writing. According to the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, an employee should notify their employer as soon as practicable, but within 45 days of injury. For illnesses or occupational diseases, an employee should again notify their employer as soon as practicable. For radiation exposure, a worker should notify they employer within 90 days of knowing that they have or many have been exposed to an excessive amount of radiation.
You will need to file a Worker’s Compensation Claim, which allows you to receive payments for medical treatments and other benefits for up to three years after the injury or two years after the last payment of benefits, which ever is longer. You can also file for an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Commission to protect your legal rights to medical benefits for your injury.
Legal Considerations Regarding Medical Benefits
Having an attorney on your side can ensure that not only are your current medical bills and treatments covered for your work injury, but also that future medical expenses will be considered as well. If there is long-term disability or ongoing medical treatment needed, you will want to ensure that these medical bills will be taken care of. In the case of a settlement for a work injury, often times future medical bills are no longer covered as part of the settlement. It is important to have an experienced Illinois Worker’s Compensation attorney on your side to protect your financial interests.