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Can I see my own doctor if I have suffered a work injury?

Written by Ankin Law Office

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one in 30 American employees faced a work-related injury or illness in 2012. A workplace accident can be traumatic and disruptive. If you are hurt on the job, Illinois law gives you options for medical treatment.

Are injured workers allowed free choice of doctors?

Workers injured on the job in Illinois can pick the medical providers of their choice, although there may be limitations on the specific doctors seen or the number of specialists consulted. Injured employees should learn about these possible restrictions in order to avoid medical bills that may fall outside the scope of workers’ compensation.

What is a Preferred Provider Program?

All workers should ask their employers to confirm whether they have established a Preferred Provider Program. This option allows the employer to set up a pre-selected pool of doctors from which injured employees can choose. If an Illinois employer has established a PPP, employees can choose two doctors from within the network.

Is the PPP network my only choice?

A PPP network is designed for long-term care after an accident on the job. Workers can and should seek treatment outside the network in the following cases:

  • Immediate emergency care after a job-related incident
  • Medical care needed before the injury is reported to the employer
  • Medical care received by a worker who has decided to opt out of the PPP network

In all of these situations, the injured worker is not bound to the PPP and is entitled to financial compensation for expenses outside the network.

Can I opt out of the PPP network to see my own doctor?

Illinois law allows an employee to opt out of the PPP network in writing, either before or after a work injury. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission regards this statement as a choice of doctors, leaving the worker able to choose one doctor outside the PPP network rather than two doctors within its boundaries. If you have a close relationship with a medical provider outside your employer’s network, this may be a wise choice. If this medical provider refers you to further specialists, their care is also paid for by Illinois workers’ compensation.

The Illinois workers’ compensation system allows you to make choices about medical providers. Get in touch with a personal injury attorney today to find out more about your options.