When you get hurt on the job, the most important thing is to get the care you need to be able to get back to work, make a living and return to doing all of the things that you enjoy doing. One of the basic benefits that the Worker’s Compensation Act provides for is payment of medical expenses related to your work accident. But how do you make sure that your care is going to be paid for? The law in Illinois provides that your employer or its insurance company can set up a panel of approved physicians and as long as you see doctors who are part of that panel, your accident related care will be covered. If you get care outside of the panel, you can choose one doctor and receive care from that doctor and any health care provider who you are referred to for further care. As long as you are seeing people who are part of a chain of referrals, your care should be covered. An example will help explain the point: Let’s say that you hurt your back lifting something. You go to see your primary care doctor, who send you to the hospital to get an x-ray taken and sends you to physical therapy. All of that care would be covered. You don’t improve, so he sends you for an MRI. That would be covered too. The MRI shows that there is a bulging disc, so he recommends that you get an injection and sends you to a pain doctor to do that. That care would be covered. You get the injection, but it doesn’t help. The pain doctor sends you to a spine surgeon. The visit to the surgeon would be covered. Why? The pain doctor who your primary care doctor sent you to made the referral … and then any care ordered by the surgeon would be covered too. The keys to getting your bills paid: either (1) use a doctor who is part of the panel selected by your employer or their insurance company or (2) make sure that there is a documented chain of referrals from the first doctor you selected to each additional health care provider you see thereafter. If you have a current worker’s compensation issue which you need help on, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling us at 312-263-1080 to discuss your issues and what options you have. There is no obligation to hire our law firm, and there is no charge for the call. I hope this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who can benefit from this kind of information, please feel free to share this. We are here to help truck drivers after an on-the-job accident. Knowledge is power, and the first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are. Stay safe!