Medical Benefits for Truck Drivers
Chicago Lawyers for Truck Drivers Who Need Medical Benefits
Commercial trucks have a significant presence on the roads of Illinois and around the country. Many truck drivers spend hours in their trucks making deliveries and performing other tasks for their employers. These are typically drives that are long, stressful, and full of risks. They may require quick judgment calls. Unfortunately, operating these vehicles puts a big strain on the body and truck accidents are common. If you were injured while on the job as a truck driver, you may need medical benefits. You should call the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck, & Bertuca. We have more than 60 years of experience representing injured workers.
Medical Benefits for Truck Drivers
Truck drivers suffer both chronic and catastrophic injuries. Chronic injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis. Truck accidents may result in spinal cord injuries, back and neck injuries, head and brain injuries, broken bones, lacerations, internal trauma, burns, seat belt injuries, whiplash, paralysis. Sometimes these injuries are fatal.
Most employees in Illinois are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These are benefits paid through your employer’s insurance. As a truck driver who is injured on the job, you are entitled to medical benefits, among others. This includes reasonably necessary medical care. Your employer’s insurer will need to pay for your trip to the ER, first aid, ambulance, subsequent doctors’ visits, prescriptions including medical devices, surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. For example, if you were in a truck accident and suffered paralysis, your employer’s insurer would need to pay for reasonably necessary medical care to treat that paralysis, including such items as a wheelchair, medication, and any medical procedures. Unfortunately, even when work-related injuries are catastrophic, an employer may try to nickel-and-dime a worker and get him back to work before he’s ready.
Choosing a Doctor
While you can choose your medical provider for your work-related injuries, there may be some limitations when your employer has a Preferred Provider Program (PPP). A PPP is a network of medical care providers that are designated to treat work-related injuries. A PPP needs to offer an adequate choice of medical providers able to treat common injuries within a reasonable distance of your house. And if you don’t like the first provider you choose from a PPP, you may make a second choice under Illinois law. However, if you choose a provider that is not within the PPP, you will only be able to choose your provider once.
When you go to see a doctor, you should let her know that you were injured on the job as a truck driver. This ensures that the doctor bills the workers’ compensation insurer directly and seeks appropriate pre-authorizations for any procedures it may need to perform.
Independent Medical Exams
The trucking company and its insurer may dispute your entitlement to benefits or the extent to which you’re injured and need benefits. You may disagree about what treatment is reasonably necessary to address a crushing injury, for example.
The insurer may ask you to go to an independent medical exam (IME) conducted by a doctor of its choosing. It’s important to realize that this doctor is not on your side. In fact, he may be chosen specifically because he tends to recommend conservative, inexpensive care even for serious injuries. However, your benefits may stop if you do not go to the IME appointment. You are entitled to any IME report that is made. As your attorneys, we would look closely at the credentials of the IME doctor and report if you are denied benefits and raise any issues we see there at a hearing before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Consult a Seasoned Chicago Workers’ Compensation Firm
If you need to obtain medical benefits as a truck driver injured on the job, you should give our seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers a call. We have more than 60 years of experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits, workers’ compensation claims, and SSDI claims in Rockford, Champaign, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Call us at 312-724-5846 or complete our online form.