Illinois Workers Comp questions
I was injured on the job 2 years and 9+ months ago and have been unable to work minus a 2.5 month period. During this 2.5 month period I was taking twice the amount of pain medicine that was noticed by my treating physician. A pretty dumb and obviously bad decision but I desperately wanted to return to work. Therefore, I had my attorney contact the Insurance Company, informing them I could not continue.
I have had 2 surgeries, 2 procedures and over 18 months of rehab/therapy.
I have now seen 3 doctors for IME's.
My concern is that my current doctor states that pain management is the course of action needed as the previous surgeries, procedures and therapy have not alleviated the issues and he does not foresee that any additional surgeries, procedures or therapy will resolve the issue.
My concern is that the Insurance Company's choice of doctors for the IME's have been sub par and the last 2 IME's, the doctors did not look at my medical file prior to my mandatory visit. The 2nd IME report also included fabrications by the doctor for tests/assessments he said he did but did not. I did inform my attorney of the fabrications and he has done nothing with this information.
As it is apparent to me and confirmed by my doctor that once/IF I am able to return to work that returning to the same line of work will not be possible. I would take a position outside my field and for a lower wage. I understand that the Insurance Company has an obligation to make up the difference. I feel that I could do more with the money(even at a reduced settlement) than I could with the make up in reduced salary. My compensation during my career and at the time of injury has always been heavily weighted with additional incentives such as car payment, cell phone, personal/life insurance, gas and heavy bonus structures and these do not figure into my workers compensation weekly check. I have exhausted all savings and the current checks barely pay for the essentials. The settlement offer is less than what the Insurance Company would pay over the course of my life, even taking into account the valuation of the dollar over the course of my theoretical working life.
With this information and the fact that there doesn't seem to be any alternative medicines, procedures or additional doctors the Insurance Company will authorize, I have instructed my attorney to send a settlement letter to the Insurance Company.
If a settlement happens, this would allow me to see a specialist that was recommended to me by my 2nd surgeon and try some alternative medicine.
My questions are:
1) The settlement letter was sent to the opposing Insurance Company's attorney over 6 weeks ago, with no additional follow up. What type of pressure should my attorney be applying?
a) Is frequently calling or writing additional demand letters ok to do?
b) What else should the attorney be doing t get this settlement through
2) My long time girlfriend, whom I live with, has an opportunity to take a 1 year position abroad. As I do not/can not work, is something that the Insurance Company could deny and demand I stay in the state that I was injured? Obviously going without me would not happen, I feel that this injury could now be holding her back (though it obviously has due to my limited mobility and pain. I understand the Insurance Company does not care and this does not play a part of their decision).
Insurance Company = Workers Compensation Insurance Company
Thank you for reading this and sincerely appreciate your help!