Employers offer many benefits to employees, including mandated insurance to cover any medical expenses for injuries that occur on the job. The insurance is called workers’ compensation. Although it is considered a benefit to employees, it can be difficult to have some necessary medical treatment approved. Illinois residents may be interested in one police officer’s year-long battle to have a surgery for a work injury approved through the insurance system.
Reportedly, the officer injured his back while trying to detain a teenager. The officer needed medical treatment, and his physicians determined he could benefit from spinal surgery. His claim through workers’ compensation was denied on the basis that the officer needed the surgery for a previous back injury not related to his work injury.
Approximately a year after filing his claim, his attorney attended a hearing to explain to a judge the need for treatment. The outcome of the hearing was positive for the employee, and the judge ruled that the claim could not be denied based on the fact that he had a pre-existing condition. Unfortunately, it is not the end of the legal battles, as the surgery has also not be approved. The employee anticipates more hearings before he can have the surgery, but he is hopeful it will be approved and will be the needed treatment to allow him to work again.
Unfortunately, denied claims or difficulty obtaining approval for needed medical treatment is not uncommon in the workers’ compensation system. Many employees may find themselves frustrated, confused and stressed during the process. Those in such situations typically choose to seek the assistance of an attorney in Illinois to file a claim and appeal any denied claims.