12 Apr, 2015
By: Donald W Fohrman

What 3 forms of medical evidence should you collect for your injury claim?

Workers’ compensation in this state is governed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act. Under this law, employers are required to cover necessary medical expenses for employees who were injured on the job. In order to obtain these benefits, employees must file a workers’ compensation claim, as any Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer knows. Additionally, workers must be able to provide documentation of their injuries. Below are three forms of medical evidence that should be gathered in anticipation of a workers’ compensation claim.
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1. Showing surgical, medical and hospital services

The treatment of medical expenses is described in Section 8 of the Workers’ Compensation Act. In most workers’ compensation claims, a large portion of benefits will address medical expenses. As such, any first aid, medical visits, treatments and hospital stays should be thoroughly documented. These medical reports should include details such as the timing of any treatments, specific diagnoses and recommended medical interventions.

Illinois’ workers compensation laws require only that employers pay for medical treatments reasonably required to treat an injury. As such, it is common for employers or their insurance carriers to attempt to limit a settlement by claiming certain medical expenses were not necessary. Any Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer would note that the best way of combating these arguments is to keep thorough medical records.

2. Proving disability

Workers’ compensation laws in Illinois also account for partial or full disability. However, proof of disability must be provided. This is generally achieved by submitting medical records in which a physician attests to the existence and extent of a disability.

According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, temporary total disability benefits are paid to injured employees in two scenarios. The first is when the employee cannot return to work yet. This must be substantiated by a physician. The second applies when the worker’s doctor has released the employee for light-duty work, but the employer is not able to bring the worker back in that capacity.

3. Demonstrating the need for vocational rehabilitation

According to the IWCC, injured employees are also entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. Vocational rehabilitation assists workers who cannot return to their jobs due to their injuries. Eligibility for these benefits will be based on proof that the underlying injury or disability exists, so medical documentation attesting to such facts is necessary.

Workers’ compensation laws offer a number of benefits to injured employees. However, obtaining full compensation may be challenging due to the complicated claims process. Seeking the help of an Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer may increase employees’ abilities to provide all necessary medical documents. This may in turn improve the chances that workers will receive all benefits to which they are entitled.

About The Author

Photo of Donald W Fohrman
After completing law school Donald became an assistant Attorney General for 7 years and was assigned to the Industrial Commission Division. During that time he spent evenings establishing his own firm. Donald became a founding partner of a large workers’ compensation/personal injury firm but decided to leave the firm in 1990 to start a smaller “boutique” firm with the belief that bigger isn’t always better!

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