A woman called my office with a pretty typical sounding work injury. She had been hit in the head by a falling box and sustained a concussion and neck injury. The concussion seems better, but she has shooting pains going down her arm which is a sign of a herniated cervical disc. That can be a really serious injury and could go from bad to worse if she doesn't get treatment right away. At a minimum she should be getting physical therapy.
While she was able to go to the emergency room without a problem, getting follow up care with her preferred neurologist has been a challenge. Long story short is that the employer hasn't reported the case to their insurance carrier so the worker can't get a claim number. The neurologist, who wants to get paid, won't provide any treatment without a claim number because he wants to bill someone he can collect from. No treatment means no recommendation for physical therapy, no MRI and her injury gets worse.
As often is the case, the only person losing out here is the one everyone should be worried about, the injured worker.
There is no legal reason for the company not to report the claim other than hoping to frustrate their employee with the hopes she goes away. They are risking a ton though as if they delay too long they'd lose their insurance and still be on the hook for all the bills.
In a situation like this you need to force their hand and file an Application For Adjustment Of Claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. This is the first thing an attorney does. Doing so makes the case official, gets you assigned to an Arbitrator and gives the employer no choice but to report the claim. That will generate a claim number and in a case like this should allow you to get medical treatment. You can get on the road to getting better and put the nonsense and games they are playing behind you.
Bottom line is that there does not need to be a case number in order to get treatment, but it can help. If there isn't one it means that somebody is playing games with your health and that of course is a big red flag. If you have any concerns, questions or want help with a case, contact us at any time for a free consultation.
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