I talk to approximately 200 people a month who have questions about Illinois workers’ compensation law or need representation for an injury.

In about 10 of those calls I hear something that I find a little odd. It’s something along the lines of “I’m too busy to get medical treatment for my injury.”

If you don’t go to a medical doctor, you can’t prove you are injured. You might get hit by a car and think your leg is broken, but the way to prove that is with an X-ray. Generally speaking it’s assumed that if you aren’t seeking medical help, you aren’t injured. You can testify that you hurt your back lifting a box and tell the Judge about all of the pain you are in. But if you’ve been treating your pain with only Advil then it’s pretty much impossible to prove something is wrong with you.

Another, more understandable, example is when someone has PTSD after getting robbed at gun point. Many people have nightmares, are afraid at work, become teary, etc. It usually sounds to me like they are going through post traumatic stress. If they don’t go to a psychologist of psychiatrist who confirms that they have that diagnosis and it’s related to the job then they have no case.

You also can’t decide that you are too injured to work and expect to get paid for your time off. Only a doctor can do that.

The reason for all of this is that you are biased in your own favor even if you are being honest. A doctor is independent and much more credible and if you want to pursue a case you have to see them.

You shouldn’t see a doctor just to have a case, you should get medical help if you really need it. Nothing is more important than your health. If you do get medical help, make sure not to delay in doing so. If you were injured in April, but don’t see a doctor until October, it’s really hard to prove the need to go to the doctor is due to your work injury. A six month delay in treatment is a long time. You still could win a case, but it would be much harder.