RECORDED STATEMENTS: THE INITIAL TRAP
You’re hard at work when all of a sudden you feel a twinge, a pop or a sudden pain. If you’re like most workers, you keep going. Isn’t it just part of the job? Even though most employers have a company policy that requires a worker to immediately report all injuries, no matter how minor, they really don’t mean it.
So what’s a worker to do?
The law in Illinois requires that an injured worker notify the employer of a work accident within 45 days. Notice does not have to be in writing, but it does have to be to a supervisor, a foreman or somebody with managerial authority. (As a practical matter, the sooner that an accident is reported, the less likely it will be questioned or denied by the employer.)
Never Give a Recorded Statement!
No matter what you are told, the law does not require you to give one. The only reason for the recorded statement is to trap the injured worker into saying anything that an insurance company can twist into an excuse to cut off pay or refuse to pay for medical care.
RIGHT TO QUALITY MEDICAL CARE
The initial Emergency Care visit does not count against your 2 choices of doctor but do not go back to the emergency room or an occupational medical facility a second time or you will have used one of your choices.
Do Not treat with an occupational medical facility, they are more concerned with the cost of the medical care then properly diagnosing your injury. Do Not treat with any doctor an occupational medical facility may refer you.
Insurance companies pay doctors big money to write reports denying medical care to injured workers. In fact, 15-30 times more money than they get paid to treat a patient.
You have no way of knowing if your local orthopedic doctor receives hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to create reports to deny claims on behalf of insurance companies. If you unknowingly go to one of these doctors, after suffering a work injury, they will likely recommend cheaper care or write something in your record that will prevent you from getting workers comp or the right medical care.
These doctors are well-known to those who represent injured workers.
Resolving a Claim
Reaching a settlement with the compensation carrier is risky.
Direct settlement of your claim without representation will terminate any rights to future medical care, may expose you to unpaid bills, will result in a lower settlement and may affect what conditions your health insurance will cover in the future.
Call Serowka Law today at 312.330.8829 for a Free Consultation