Can I Choose My Own Doctor After a Work Injury?

Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Chicago, Cicero, Oak Park, Berwyn and Nearby Areas in Illinois

 

TRANSCRIPT: The short answer is yes. Under Illinois state law, as it stands today, you'll have the right to see two doctors of your own choice for care and treatment for injuries sustained in an accident at work. The main exception to that rule is if your employer has set up what's called a preferred provider program. What that means is they have a group of doctors they have set aside that an injured employee should see before seeking treatment with a doctor of their choice. If you choose to see their doctors, that counts as your first choice. If you choose not to see their doctors, it still counts as your first choice and then you can go to a doctor of your choice and continue treating. If your employer does not have a preferred provider plan set up and given notice to you and the other employees, then you have the right to two doctors of your own choice. And it just doesn't stop at those two doctors. What I mean by that is, if you see Dr. Smith because you have a bad back, Dr. Smith can refer you to other doctors for care and treatment, and that still counts as your first choice because it started from Dr. Smith. That's called a chain of referrals to doctors. So if Dr. Smith who's a primary care physician sends you for an MRI and the MRI shows that you have a disc problem in your lower back, and he says you need to see an orthopedic specialist, and he sends you to Dr. Jones, an orthopedic specialist, Dr. Jones is not your second choice. He's still counted as your first choice because he was referred by Dr. Smith, who is your original primary care physician. And so on and so forth, if these doctors refer you to physical therapists or any other specialist. If that's the case, that's your first chain of referrals, and if your employer doesn't send you to a doctor and their preferred provider plan, then you have a second choice doctor and all their referrals count as your choice as well from the beginning of your second option.