The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that employers should secure workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, to cover their work-related injuries. As an injured worker, you are permitted to select your own doctor for treatment. The purpose of this is to make sure you receive medical treatment from a doctor who is more interested in your well-being than protecting the insurance company’s profits. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes make mistakes even when they have good intentions. What happens when your treating physician or specialist for a workers’ compensation injury departs from reasonably competent professional behavior? Who should be held responsible? This is a delicate question that requires knowledgeable counsel. If you are concerned about medical malpractice issues in connection with a work accident, you should talk to our dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Bareck & Bertuca, we have more than 60 years of experience fighting for workers.Choosing a Doctor for Your Chicago Workers’ Compensation Claim
While you should seek emergency care you need, when it comes to medical treatment for a work injury that goes beyond emergency care, it is important to see a doctor who is authorized to give treatment and accepts Illinois workers’ compensation insurance. Before an initial visit, you need to let the doctor know your injury is work-related and that it should be billed through your employers’ insurance. The insurer will expect your treating physician to take certain steps, such as obtaining authorization for certain procedures.Medical Malpractice in or Around Chicago
Once a doctor-patient relationship is formed, your doctor owes you a professional duty of care. This means that they are held to a certain standard of competence when acting as your doctor. Often this is a standard determined by looking at what other reasonably competent doctors would do under the same circumstances. You are able to retain a doctor of your choosing for work injuries. Unfortunately, even when you get to choose your own doctor, they may err.
Not every error constitutes medical malpractice. Illinois law provides that injuries that occur due to a breach in the professional standard of care or unreasonable care by a provider constitute medical malpractice. As your attorneys we would need to establish what the professional standard of care was under the circumstances; this is typically done through expert testimony. We will also need to prove that your doctor departed from the professional standard of care.
Medical malpractice may involve failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, delay in diagnosis or treatment that alters the outcome, improper medical care, errors in ordering lab tests or evaluating results, and prescription errors. In general, greater compensation will be paid in litigation than through the workers’ compensation system; however, it is important to seek a lawyer who can handle both of your claims and who understands the subrogation and other rights insurers may assert.Disputes
Your employer’s insurer may try to say that it is not responsible for certain aspects of your injuries that are the result of medical malpractice. And on the other side, your treating doctor and his defense team may fight your effort to get compensation in court. For example, if you sustained complex and comminuted fractures at the construction site where you worked, but your surgeon didn’t abide by professional standards when performing surgery to repair the bones, and therefore, you are no longer able to work, our lawyers will seek expert analysis and testimony. These experts will parse the extent to which you would not have been able to work due to the complex fracture, and the extent to which the doctor’s errors in treatment, rather than the work injury itself, resulted in your permanent disability.
It is critical not to have your case fall through the cracks because two teams that do not have your best interests at heart are working to foist blame on each other, rather than considering their duties to you.Retain Dedicated Legal Representation for Medical Issues After a Work Accident
You should be able to access competent medical care and replacement for the wages you’ve lost when injured due to a work accident. Our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers handle workers’ compensation claims that involve medical malpractice. We represent injured workers in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, along with Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.