The Company is sending me to their doctor! Do I have to go?!

The short answer in Illinois is yes. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, the Employee has the right to treat with a doctor of their choice. However, the Employer can have the injured worker evaluated by a doctor of their choice. This evaluation is not for treatment and is often called an Independent Medical Examination (IME). However, it is important to remember, that even though it is called an IME it is anything but independent. This doctor was chosen by the insurance company to determine whether your injury is causally related to your employment, whether you are still in need of treatment and whether you can go back to work. This portion of the Act is still part of the recently amended Workers’ Compensation Act.

An employee who fails to attend this examination can have their benefits terminated by the insurance company for failing to cooperate. However, there are certain requirements that have to be met by the employer before the employee has to go. First, there has to be adequate notice before the examination. Adequate notice is not a definite term but one that is determined by the circumstances. If you are unable to attend for reasons that are unavoidable you must contact the insurance company, or whoever scheduled the examination, immediately.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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