Working Well With Workers' Compensation Doctors
Workers with on-the-job injuries can consider themselves fortunate to have insurance. Workers' compensation insurance is provided free of charge to employees in nearly every circumstance. As a hurt worker, your interactions with your workers' compensation doctor will take on a huge significance and could influence the outcome of your injury and case. Read on for some tips on how to cope with this unique type of doctor and patient relationship.
Seek Medical Help Immediately
You must see a doctor for your work-related injury. Depending on the severity, you might be able to choose the facility. In an emergency, you should go to the nearest emergency room. In some cases, an urgent care facility is the right choice. If the issue is not an emergency, ask your human resources about who to see. Some workers' comp plans have specific rules about who can treat you for workplace injuries.
Let the Doctor Know the Circumstances
You must let the doctor know about how your injury is related to your job. You don't have to be injured while on the job to qualify for workers' comp benefits, however. If you were traveling for your company or on an errand for your boss, you may be covered. For example, if you were assigned to take a training class across town, you would be covered if you slipped down in the hallway outside the training room. If you even suspect that your injury will be covered by workers' compensation insurance, let the office staff and the doctor know about it. Everything that follows will be assigned a different level of care, from the coding of your case to the way your doctor prescribes recuperation at home.
Be Accurate and Comprehensive
As long as you have medical coverage, let the doctor know how the injury is affecting you at each appointment. Doctors cannot do a good job caring for you without your input. Without exaggeration or emotional pleas, let your doctor know what hurts and how much. For example, rather than whining about how much your back hurts, assign the pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling, etc a number from 1 to 10. Tell the doctor you cannot even get in and out of bed without extreme discomfort or pain. Remember, it is up to your workers' compensation doctor to send you back to work and you don't want to downplay or overplay your symptoms.
Speak to a Workers' Compensation Attorney
Not all cases go smoothly. If any of the following happen to you, speak to an attorney right away:
- Your doctor cancels appointments, never has time to see you, fails to spend enough time with you during appointments, etc.
- Your doctor refuses to provide you with a referral to a surgeon or for other care like physical therapy that you feel you need.
- Your doctor has released you to go back to work but you disagree with that assessment.
- You have been ruled to have a permanent disability and are being offered a settlement.
Speak to a workers comp attorney to learn more.