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Is the Insurance Company Allowed to Conduct Surveillance on Injured Workers in Illinois?

November 10th, 2021 at 10:22 am

Workers-Comp-Chicago-LawyerIn a perfect world, an employee would suffer a work-related injury, file their workers’ compensation claim, have that claim approved, and take the time they needed to heal, while having all of their medical expenses paid and their wages covered. Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation process is rarely that simple because employers and their insurance companies are notorious for trying to deny an injured worker’s right to benefits.

One of the most common methods used by insurance companies is to put the injured worker under surveillance in order to “catch” them doing something that contradicts their injury claim.

Surveillance Tactics

The insurance company will conduct surveillance on an injured worker with the hopes of detecting fraud on the part of the worker or at least determine just how injured the worker is based on the activities he or she is observed doing. The goal of the surveillance is to prove that the worker is:

  • Not really injured or disabled
  • Exaggerating their injuries or disability
  • Capable of more physical activity than they are admitting to
  • Not credible

Surveillance is conducted by either an in-house investigator from the insurance company or the company will hire an outside agency to collect the information. Typically, the investigator will watch the worker at their home and follow them when they leave, documenting what the worker does. The investigator will often take photos and/or videos of the worker as they go about their day.

Investigators may also speak with family, friends, and neighbors of the worker. It is rare they will be upfront with the person about who they are and what they are doing, instead posing as someone or something else in order to see if they can get the person to divulge some information that would be detrimental to the injured worker’s claim.

Is Surveillance Legal and Can It Be Used as Evidence?

Every injured worker who has filed a workers’ compensation claim needs to be aware that not only is it legal for the insurance company to conduct surveillance, but the company is also allowed to present any evidence gathered from the surveillance as evidence to deny the worker’s claim.

Photos and video evidence can be presented to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission in order to prove what the worker is capable of doing based on the activities the evidence captures them doing.

Although in the majority of cases, the evidence may not interfere with the worker’s claim, there are situations where video evidence can appear as the worker is lying about the extent of their injury.

For example, a worker who is collecting benefits for a back injury would most likely be a prime candidate for surveillance. The worker has been told by their doctor they should not be lifting anything. One day, the worker is in their yard with their toddler, unaware of the zoom lens of the camera trained on them by an investigator sitting in a parked car on their street. Their child falls and begins crying. As a parent, the injured worker’s instinct is to pick up the toddler and comfort them, even though doing so created an enormous amount of pain in their back. But that exchange is caught on camera and the presentation of those photos make it look as if the back injury is not as painful as the worker is claiming.

Contact a Cook County Work Injury Attorney

If you have been injured on the job, a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer can make sure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to and protect you from the antics the insurance company attempts in order to prevent you from receiving those benefits. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to schedule a free and confidential consultation and find out how we can help.

 

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/resources/Pages/fraud.aspx

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Posted in Workers Comp

Do I Need an Illinois Workers’ Comp Attorney?

October 8th, 2021 at 3:49 pm

Workers-Comp-Law-CookCountyUnder Illinois law, when a worker suffers a job-related injury, they usually qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits provide coverage for all medical expenses to treat the injury, as well as a percentage of the employee’s wages each week. Depending on the extent of the injury, the worker may also qualify for additional benefits, such as vocational counseling if they are unable to return to their former occupation because of permanent damage from the injury.

There are very few reasons why a worker should be denied benefits. One example would be if the worker caused the injury intentionally. Yet many injured workers find themselves fighting with the employer and/or insurance company because their claim is denied. Having a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney advocating for you can make a difference in how your claim is processed.

Benefits of Having an Attorney

The strongest pieces of evidence in a workers’ comp claim are the medical reports that detail the injury, damage, and treatment. An attorney will make sure that all required medical records are obtained and included in your claim, as well as advising whether you should obtain a second opinion.

In addition to having the appropriate medical evidence, there are other documents that may be needed, and deadlines to filing that must be met. Your attorney will deal with all these issues for you, allowing you to focus on your healing and recovery.

Your attorney will also deal directly with the insurance company so you will not have to. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit and any benefits they must pay out cuts into those profits. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to reduce the amount of benefits a victim rightfully deserves and often try to convince an injured worker they are not entitled to certain benefits when in fact, they are. Having an attorney representing you sends a message to the insurance company right away that these types of tactics will not work in your case.

If your claim has already been wrongfully denied, it can be difficult to resubmit it on your own. It may have been an issue as simple as some documents were missing or it could be a more complex issue that requires appealing the denial and having a hearing in front of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Each workers’ compensation attorney from our firm has extensive experience successfully working on denied claims and can help you get the benefits you deserve.

Contact an Illinois Job Injury Attorney for Legal Assistance

If you have suffered a work injury, do not delay in speaking with a skilled Chicago workers’ comp lawyer. The quicker you have an attorney at your side, the quicker your claim can be processed and your benefits begin. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

 

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Pages/default.aspx

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Posted in Workers Comp

Who Can Provide My Medical Care for a Work-Related Injury?

September 13th, 2021 at 11:00 am

Workers-Comp-Care-Chicago-LawyerIf you are injured in the course of your work in Illinois, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that cover the costs of your medical care. However, there are important steps that you will need to follow to ensure that you receive those benefits. One of those steps is ensuring that you receive treatment from an approved provider. Your choice of provider may depend on your employer, and it is important to understand how this process works.

Choosing a Care Provider

As soon as you are injured or you become aware of a work-related injury, it is important to notify your employer. If you require emergency care, your employer should arrange for it and cover the costs. Many work-related injuries require ongoing care, however, and this is where the choice of a provider comes in.

Many Illinois employers now have a Preferred Provider Program (PPP) that includes a list of health care providers who are approved to treat employees’ work-related injuries. Your employer must notify you in writing if they have a PPP, and if so, you will need to choose your care providers from within the program. If you opt-out of the PPP in writing, or if your employer does not have a PPP, you are able to select a provider of your choice. In this case, it is important to let the provider know that you have a work-related injury so that you are not billed directly for your treatment.

Disputes Involving Medical Care

Although an employer is required to cover the costs of reasonably necessary medical care for a work-related injury, this process does not always go smoothly for injured employees. In many cases, employers and their workers’ comp insurance providers will decline to cover medical expenses that they believe are unnecessary or unrelated to the employee’s work. In other cases, injured employees may feel that their chosen care providers are not providing the care they truly need.

If you encounter these obstacles while receiving treatment for your work injuries, it is important to file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). After reviewing your case, the IWCC may allow you to select a new care provider or arrange for dispute resolution between you and your employer. An attorney can help you file your claim and represent you in any proceedings before the IWCC.

Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Getting workers’ compensation benefits can be a complicated process with many important decisions along the way. If you are unsure how to proceed, our experienced Illinois workers’ comp attorneys can help. Contact [[title]] today at [[phone]] to schedule a free consultation.

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Documents/handbook.pdf

 

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