If injured on the job, can I choose my own doctor and is there a limit to the number of doctors my employer must pay for?

You may seek, and your employer is liable for, medical treatment from two doctors of your own choosing for a particular injury.  You may also consult and treat with doctors to whom you are referred by your first two doctors.  If you go beyond the two doctors of your own choosing and those to whom they refer you, this treatment is at your own expense, including all prescriptions, tests or hospital care that the additional doctor orders.  The two doctor limit does not include doctors your employer asks you to consult.

It is generally in your best interest to select your own physician, surgeon and hospital rather than an employer appointed doctor, as your doctor will hold your interests foremost.

What is workers’ compensation and am I covered?

Workers’ compansation essentially is a no fault benefit system provided for most workers with job-related injuries.  The Occupational Diseases Act provides virtually the same benefits as workers’ compensation for job-related diseases.  The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission administers the law and resolves disputes, providing information and assistance to employees and employers.

All employers in the State of Illinois must carry workers’ compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance by the State.  Independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation, but their employees are.  Every sole proprietor and every partner of a business may elect to be covered by the workers’ compensation laws.