I tell all of my clients the same thing. At the end of your doctor’s appointment, be sure to ask the doctor for a work status note IN WRITING. I also ask them to immediately take a picture of the work status with their cell phone and text it to me. Finally, I tell them that once they get tot their car, they should call to let me know how the appointment went so I can update their file. About 50% of my clients follow that advice. Here’s what the other 50% almost always tell me:
- The doctor’s office said they will fax it over to you.
- The doctor said he will be sure to put it in his chart note.
- The doctor asked me to tell you to call him.
Here are my responses:
- The doctor’s office isn’t going to fax the note to me. Even if they intend to, they often forget and it takes numerous follow up phone calls to have it faxed over. Oftentimes, we never get it until we issue a subpoena, which costs the client $25.00.
- The doctor might put it in her chart note. The doctor might not put it in her chart note. Regardless, the defense attorney or the adjuster is going to ask for an updated work status, and if I can’t get it to them, they are likely going to stop sending you TTD checks until I do. And then, it will take forever to get the checks started up again. In the meantime, you sit there with no money coming in.
- If your doctor is asking to speak with your lawyer regarding a work status, then either the doctor doesn’t understand how to handle workers’ compensation claims, or the doctor thinks you can return to work but doesn’t want to tell you. It is usually the latter.
Get a work status at each doctor’s visit and get it to your attorney as qucikly as possible to make sure your checks are not interrupted. If you are treating with a doctor that refuses to provide you with a work status, or wants to make you jump through hoops to obtain one, then speak to your attorney about switching to another doctor.
If you would like to know more about how workers’ compensation law works in Illinois, you can read all about it in my new book: The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Field Guide. The book is available via Kindle and in paperback. You can also reach out to me if you find yourself in a bad situation with a workers’ comp claim, or if you’ve been injured at work and want to start off on the right foot. All initial consultations are free of charge. I look forward to hearing from you!