One of the primary benefits of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is the requirement that the employer pay for all reasonable and related medical expenses. An injured worker should not have to pay a dime out of their own pocket for related treatment. Unfortunately, the claim process can be quite long and frustrating. Even in cases which are very straightforward, it is quite common that medical bills for related treatment wind up unpaid and in collections. This can be due to oversight by the medical provider or the claim handler, or sometimes intentional deception by the employer. So, what should you do if you are being threatened with collection letters for related medical treatment in an Illinois work comp case? Keep reading to learn what one of Chicago’s best workers’ compensation lawyers, Brent Eames, has to say about this.
In most cases, a workers’ compensation claim is just like any other insurance claim. In order for the insurance company or claim handler to pay benefits, that means that a claim has to be opened. As part of this process, typically an insurance company or claim handler will require some investigation to confirm that the claim is legitimate. This can take time, and typically won’t happen overnight. So, if you get hurt at work, and need to obtain emergency medical treatment such as an ambulance or emergency room, your workers’ compensation claim will almost certainly not be opened at the time you obtain the treatment. So, from a practical standpoint, it will be impossible for you to provide the necessary work comp claim information to the medical providers for them to process the medical bills. This can often result in these initial providers sending your bills to collections for the simple reason that they do not know where else to send the bills.
If you get a collection letter related to accepted medical treatment, you should immediately contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Eames Law Group to help you sort out the mess. Pursuant to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, 820 ILCS 305 §8.2(e), providers shall not hold an employee liable for costs related to a non-disputed procedure, treatment, or service rendered in connection with a compensable injury. Often times, we are able to resolve these issues immediately with a simple demand letter to the provider which provides the insurance claim information and threatens them to cease collection efforts immediately. Other times, it can be necessary to file a request for an emergency hearing against the Respondent in order to compel the payment of unpaid medical bills. Sometimes, if it can be established that the Respondent ignored their legal obligations to pay the medical bills, they can be required to pay interest on the unpaid debt. This can be a great incentive to ensure prompt payment, but you will need an aggressive and skilled work comp attorney to ensure that all procedures and rules are being followed in order to hold the proper parties accountable.
Have you been injured at work and want to discuss your rights and legal options? Please contact our experienced attorneys who have been rated as among the best work comp attorneys in Chicago to discuss your rights. If you have been injured, you should immediately contact Brent Eames for a free consultation to discuss your options.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Eames Law Group, Ltd.