Prompt and adequate medical care is typically crucial for the best recovery possible for workers injured on the job. While the workers’ compensation insurance that Illinois employers must carry is responsible for ensuring that employees injured on the job are approved for necessary care, it sadly does not always work out that way. One injured worker reported that he had to wait months for the insurance company to finally approve the care that he needed.
In Dec. 2014, a shipyard worker was seriously injured as he only narrowly avoided a falling buoy. The buoy weighed five tons and, sadly, killed two co-workers after its 70-foot fall. While the man survived, the ligaments in his left knee were torn as he scrambled to get out of the way of the buoy.
An initial medical evaluation revealed that he required surgery on his knee as well as proper mental care from a psychologist. However, months passed without any approval from the insurance company. Additionally, he was slated to receive workers’ compensation benefits checks, but it also took months for the first one to arrive. Because of this, the worker reported that he missed at least one mortgage payment.
Workers’ compensation is intended to help and protect Illinois workers who have been seriously injured on the job, but sadly some employers and insurance companies fail to treat it as such. However, this does not mean that victims of catastrophic workplace accidents are simply forced to wait until their injury has progressed to a point that medical care will do little to improve their situation. If denied proper care or timely benefits, an appeals process can help an injured worker receive the necessary benefits for the healthiest recovery possible.
Source: khon2.com, “Injured worker cleared for treatment after months of waiting“, Manolo Morales, March 26, 2015