I was involved in an automobile accident on my way to work. Does my employer have the right to send me to the company clinic to be evaluated before I can return to work>
3 Answers from Attorneys
Yes, under the IL Workers' Compensation Act, the employer has the right to direct you to see their preferred doctor - company clinic. You also have the right to see 1 doctor of your choice and anyone that doctor refers you to. Typically, the employer's clinic has a vested interest in finding that you can return to wok in some fashion and they may be hesitant to order tests that could be expensive. I would highly recommend you seek treatment with a doctor of your choice. You could start with your general physician if you have one, but better yet - I would recommend getting right to a specialist who treats the specific area of the body you are injured. There is not substitute for a doctor that is treating you and has your best interest in mind. Once you start seeing your doctor, you do not need to follow the restrictions of the company clinic, but rather, you should follow the restrictions, if any, set by YOUR doctor. If there is a dispute between the doctor's opinions on return to work or other necessary orders, the insurance carrier for the employer may refuse authorization or payment.
I would recommend seeking a consultation with an attorney that can not only help you through these issues as part of your work injury case, but could also handle the motor vehicle accident, since that would be a completely separate cause of action.
I agree with everything that Mr. Marker said. I would simply add that "commuting" is expressly excluded from coverage by WC. Your accident would ONLY be covered if you were paid from the time you left your home.
Be aware that aside from a worker's compensation claim, you may also have a third party claim against the driver who caused the accident and your injuries for which you may get compensation for pain and suffering, loss of normal life--damages that are not covered under WC claim. My office regularly handles this sort of cases, if you need more information.
I hope this helps-