Choosing a Doctor After an Airline Work Injury

Chicago Lawyers for Workers’ Compensation Claims

Whether you work as a baggage handler, flight attendant, cockpit crewmember, ramp service personnel, or within another role in the airline industry, you may suffer significant injuries on the job. In Illinois, a worker may seek benefits through their employers for job-related injuries. If you file a workers’ compensation claim after a job-related injury, you may recover benefits for missed wages, medical benefits, and possibly disability benefits. However, issues can arise in connection with choosing a doctor after an airline work injury, and it may be important to consult a seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to assist your with your claim.

Choosing a Doctor After an Airline Work Injury

Your airline employer’s liability to pay for medical services chosen by you after a work injury is limited to emergency care and first aid, hospital services, surgical services, and medical services that are provided by the hospital, surgeon, or doctor initially chosen by you. You should also be able to get all hospital services, surgical services, and medical services given by a second doctor, surgeon, or hospital that was chosen later by an employee or by another doctor, expert, institution, consultant, or other provider of services as recommended by the second service provider or a subsequent provider of medical services in the referrals chain from the second service provider. If you suffer an amputation or enucleation of your eye, or lose any of your natural teeth, your employer is supposed to provide you with an artificial limb or eye or teeth.

You may be able to choose your doctor after an airline work injury. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employees can choose their own doctor after suffering work-related injuries. Generally, you can initially choose two doctors to see. If you see one and don’t like him or her, you can choose a second one. Either of these doctors could refer you to other providers or specialists to get further medical care. Only those first two doctors and the doctors to whom they refer you are covered by workers’ compensation. If you choose to see a different doctor other than the first two and you weren’t referred, it won’t be covered by workers’ compensation. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your options in this regard.

Preferred Provider Program

Although you can usually choose your own doctor, if the airline has a preferred provider program under Section 8.1a on the date you suffer work injuries, the airline is supposed to inform you that it has a preferred provider program in place and you must select your doctor through this program. You should not wait to seek emergency care, and the doctor you choose for emergency care will not count as one of the choices. Through your employer’s preferred provider program, you can make two choices of medical providers, not including emergency care. You can choose in writing, after reporting your injury to your employer, to decline the preferred provider program, in which case you would be left with only one of the two choices of medical providers to which you’re entitled.

Before you report an injury, when you choose a nonemergency treatment from a provider that’s not in the preferred provider program, this will count as your choice of medical providers to which you’re entitled.

Retain a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

If you become injured or ill due to a work-related accident while working for an airline, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Airline workers who are hurt on the job can get benefits regardless of fault. The Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca represent workers in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora and Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, Adams, and Kane Counties. We look closely at our clients’ situations to decide whether other forms of relief are available in addition to workers’ compensation claims. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.