If an individual is injured on the job, they are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. As soon as the injury occurs, it is important that the injured party reports the injury to their employer. For long-term injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, the injured worker should report the injury as soon as it is reasonably apparent that they have suffered some impairment. Employers and their insurance companies can either admit or deny that an injury or illness was a result of the worker’s employment.
In Iowa, if the employer denies the claim, the employee may seek treatment from any medical doctor. The employer then must reimburse all reasonable medical expenses if the employee prevails on their workers’ compensation claim. If the employer accepts the claim, then the employer is able to direct the treatment that the employee receives. In certain circumstances, the employee may be dissatisfied with the employer’s chosen providers, and so the employee may file a petition to request a different doctor.
In Illinois, an individual has two choices in determining the care that they receive. First, they may choose any provider from the employer’s preferred provider network. An individual may decide to opt out of the employer’s chosen provider network. In that instance, the employee can then choose their own doctor, and they are entitled to see any providers that they are referred to by their chosen doctor.
Employers are required to provide three different types of benefits to employees that are injured on the job. Those benefits include medical benefits, temporary benefits, and permanency benefits. The medical benefits should cover all medical expenses as a result of the injury. This includes mileage reimbursement to attend doctor’s appointments, and prescription costs.
Temporary benefits are also available to individuals who are off work or who work reduced hours as a result of the injury. Temporary total disability benefits are available to employees who are completely off work while they are recovering from their injury. An individual who must work reduced hours due to an injury, is entitled to receive temporary partial benefits.
If an individual is permanently injured or disabled, they are entitled to permanency benefits. An individual who is permanently disabled, but can still work, may receive permanent partial disability benefits based on their respective impairment. If the injury results in permanent disability, and the individual can no longer work, the individual is entitled to receive permanent total disability benefits.
In most circumstances, an individual is required to receive an impairment rating from a doctor selected by the employer and insurance company. This rating is used to determine the amount of permanent benefits an employee receives. It is best to consult with an attorney and to receive an independent impairment rating from a different doctor. This is because the employer and insurance company are more likely to choose a doctor who will give a lower impairment rating. There are many factors that contribute to the amount of benefits that an individual is entitled to receive, and without an attorney, an individual may be missing out on a much larger settlement.