Employer Has No Workmans Comp Insurance...

by Susie
(Rosiclare, Il)

On June 26, 2010 I was working at a riverfront bar and fell and tore a ligament under my right knee cap. I reported it to the owner and he told me to go to the hospital and he would call me with their insurance information. He called me later and said they didn't have any workmans comp insurance.

I had an MRI done and they found the torn ligament. I was put in a stabilizer for 2 months. My employer has not paid one medical bill and is refusing me physical therapy and my right to get a second opinion from an orthopedic doctor.

I hired an attorney and we cannot get the owners of the riverfront bar to let me get the medical attention I need. I'm in pain all the time and my attorney says we have to sit and wait until they answer us.

I feel like there should be something more we can do besides just waiting. I've never been in front of the Illinois workmans compensation board and have not been compensated any money for my injuries. Do you have any information which may help me get some bills paid? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Employer Has No Workmans Comp Insurance...":

Susie (Rosiclare, Il):

The first suggestion we can offer is to follow the advice of your attorney. Negotiations before lawsuits and the time they can take can be very frustrating, especially if you are the victim. From the facts you present it's unclear whether your employer actually had Workmans Compensation insurance.

Your employer told you he did not carry Workmans Compensation insurance, but you mentioned you would soon be in front of the Workmans Compensation Board.

There is no way to force your employer to pay your medical bills. If your employer didn’t have insurance, whether Workmans Compensation or any other type which would have covered his employees, the only recourse your Attorney will have is to negotiate a settlement, or to file a lawsuit.

There is also something called a “Letter of Protection”. A Letter of Protection is a letter from an Attorney to a medical provider. The letter is a “Promise” from an Attorney to your medical provider wherein the Attorney makes a legal commitment to the medical provider guaranteeing that at the time her client’s case is settled, or the case is won at trial, the Attorney will pay the medical provider first, before his client receives any money.

In return, the medical provider makes a promise as well. The medical provider promises to provide the necessary treatment to the client/patient during the pendency of the case. We urge you to sit with your Attorney and discuss these issues. The best way to understand your legal options and relieve your frustration is to share them with your Attorney.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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