Workers Compensation Reform on the Horizon

The Illinois Congress was sworn in on January 8th ; in the two weeks leading up to that date there was a major push to reform Workers Compensation law in Illinois. Fortunately for injured workers the vote in Congress was not called and the current law remains in effect.

It is anticipated that a major Workers Compensation Reform Bill to overhaul the entire current system will come up for a vote. If these new laws are passed my firm’s, and other Workers Compensation attorneys’, ability to obtain justice for clients that are injured at work could be restricted. I am letting you know about some of the potential reforms so that if in the future we ask for your assistance in contacting your Congressman you will understand how important making that contact truly is.

Here are three potential reforms that I feel will cause injustice:

1- Proposed legalization could potentially not allow an injured worker to be treated by a doctor of their choice. Potentially, an injured worker would have no choice but to obtain medical care from a doctor who they do not know and who may not act in their best interest.

2- The proposed reforms call for the respondent to be able to have an expert prepare a report detailing the care, treatment or surgery that an injured worker should receive. This doctor’s report, authored by a doctor that this injured worker has never seen, would become the basis of the injured worker’s treatment program.

3- The proposed reforms call for anyone losing their occupation to receive only the difference in lost wages for a period of five years or age 67 no matter how disabling the injury.

The Ankin Law Office will continue to advocate on behalf of injured workers to obtain the full compensation owed to them. We will continue to keep you posted concerning this reformed legislation.