Changes To Illinois Workers’ Comp Law
Workers’ compensation law was designed to make sure that the injured worker could become whole again after an injury or loss. Changes in legislation are either in favor of the insurer, employer or the injured employee. It is important when you choose a lawyer to represents your interests that you work with someone who makes it a priority to stay up to date and understands how recent changes will affect your claim.
Currently, workers’ rights to compensation and access to quality medical care are under attack in our state. Large business and insurance groups are actively lobbying in Springfield to take away and reduce the rights of workers injured on the job. We fight for our clients in the courtroom and in the halls of government to protect and preserve employees’ fundamental rights in the workplace. Our state government, under the guise of reform, has taken away several rights of workers and has created several obstacles and barriers to access to quality medical care for workplace injuries. We have studied these changes and will fight for our clients under the current law to maximize their claim.
At Strong Law Offices, we continuously stay updated with legislative changes in Illinois. We know how changes affect the approach that we must take in protecting our clients’ rights and how they affect things such as settlements and access to care. We pledge to provide personalized attention to our clients and will not back down from a fight against the insurance companies and big business interests.
Recent Changes To Illinois Workers’ Comp Law
Recent changes to Illinois workers’ compensation law include:
- Utilization review: Insurance carriers now have the option to elect this process, which allows them to hire a doctor of their choosing to render an opinion about the extent of your injuries and the medical necessity of care. These reviewers oftentimes are given limited information, are not certified in the relevant medical field and never see or examine the worker. They often do not even reside in Illinois. We fight these reviews. They also oftentimes use ODG nationalized health care standards that do not take into account the medical needs and nuances of injured Illinois workers.
- AMA impairment ratings: Every accident case in Illinois is now subject to American Medical Association impairment ratings, which are different than disability and work restrictions. This can be used when a settlement is determined. These ratings are the insurance carrier’s tool to limit and cap the recovery of an injured worker for the loss he or she has sustained. These ratings do not take into account the disability that a worker has sustained. We fight to obtain the best evidence-based medicine and medical opinions of doctors chosen by the injured worker to refute and rebut these terribly unfair ratings that under the new law must be considered by the Arbitrator. We have studied how these ratings are used and applied by insurance carriers to deny fair compensation and settlements for permanent partial disability.
- PPP networks: Employers now have the option to set up a preferred provider program (PPP) that establishes a preferred group of doctors, surgeons and hospitals that employers can use if they elect PPP network usage. This is a big business and insurance carrier tool that can be utilized to limit and control the medical care of the injured worker. This is a tool that can be used by the employer to deny the injured worker the fundamental right to seek access to quality medical care of his or her own choice. The employer should never be voluntarily permitted by the injured worker to control his or her medical care. Insurance carriers are very sophisticated and have dealt with injured workers many times. Likewise, our office is very knowledgeable about how to fight for access to medical care that can be trusted by the injured worker.
- Access to care: Companies constantly push to have employees treated at facilities of their choosing. People are not aware that they have the right to seek treatment from a physician of their choosing. We fight to make sure our clients get access to care from a physician they choose.
- Reduction in medical fee schedules: There has been a drastic reduction in the medical fee schedule for reimbursements. This affects access to care and places caps on very costly medical procedures. We use our knowledge of the law to help protect our clients’ rights and seek maximum compensation and benefits. Many medical facilities now refuse access to injured workers and will only provide medical care that is approved by the insurance carrier. This is a defense tactic to control the health and medical recovery of an injured worker.
Contact Our Decatur Workers’ Compensation Law Attorneys
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. We can be reached at 217-727-6164, or we can be reached online. We have convenient office locations in Peoria, Bloomington, Decatur, Springfield and Chicago, Illinois. Evening, weekend and off-site appointments are available by request.
When You Have Been Injured, Get Strong — We Are On Your Side