When Should I Visit a Workers’ Comp Doctor?
Suppose you have been involved in a work accident or experienced a work injury. In that case, you should see a medical provider immediately to avoid any complications. However, if your work injury is not an emergency, you should first inform your employer before taking further steps. This approach would help you avoid any issues with your proceeding to the next stage and avoid issues with your claim for financial compensation because many insurance companies disregard independent medical exams and need their authorized provider’s reports.
You should know that work-related injuries are not limited to injuries sustained from sudden accidents at work. They include any deterioration of your health and physical well-being over time due to your profession and line of work. Many workers’ compensation cases involve working in an environment with a negative impact on health.
It is the job of your treating doctor to determine the extent of your work injury, establish its severity, and recommend medical treatment. The doctor also determines the amount of time you need to rest from work to promote full recovery. When you have seen a treating physician, you should proceed with your workers’ compensation claim to receive your benefits.
However, the process of claiming your compensation may turn out to be quite challenging, and you may encounter some uncooperative personalities. In that case, you might need a top-notch lawyer for workers’ comp to guide you through the workers’ comp claim process.
What to Expect During the Examination
People usually don’t know what they should expect during the examination. Here are some details to help you set your expectations.
The doctor will do a detailed evaluation of your injury. The doctor will review your medical history and details of any previous injuries or conditions that may be relevant to your current injury.
You will also undergo a thorough physical examination and assessment of the injured area. The doctor will also analyze and evaluate your range of motion, strength, and other associated factors.
The doctor might order some tests such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to get a detailed view of the injured area to determine the extent of the damage. You will also need to do some blood tests or other laboratory tests to help diagnose your injury.
The doctor will start the initial treatment by recommending you any immediate treatments, such as medications, physical therapy, or any other related thing.
Scheduling of Future Appointments
Your doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress and adjust your treatment as needed.
Determine any Work Restrictions
Finally, your doctor will help you identify if there are any physical limitations, pain levels, or any underlying condition that might need you to work in a different way or not at all.
Usually, doctors suggest a temporary work restriction for serious injuries. This includes reduced work shifts hours, modified tasks, or anything else until your injury heals.
In some serious cases, the doctor recommends permanent restrictions. This is because your injury might have caused a permanent limitation.
All of it is to help you in treatment. The details of your medical record will be used for the worker’s comp claims.
Can You Sue a Workers’ Compensation Doctor for Malpractice?
While your employer or insurance company recommends the workers’ compensation doctor, the attending physician must also perform his duties as a neutral professional. The doctor should examine the injured worker without bias and give an honest medical report based on their findings.
However, this may not always be the case. Because an insurance company appoints workers’ compensation doctors, you may find that they have not made an accurate representation of your state of health. This may have occurred to limit or reduce your benefits and wage payouts fraudulently. That way, the insurance company can save money since they do not have to compensate you fully.
The doctors who do this may be financially motivated to side with the insurance companies that employ them.
Suppose you are in such a position where you suspect that your health has been mismanaged or that your diagnosis or medical report is inaccurate. In that case, you might want to seek independent treatment from a different medical provider. This is crucial, especially if you discover that your health has not improved since the treatment commenced.
Workers’ compensation doctors are also not immune to lawsuits. Therefore, if you discover that the initial company doctor told a lie or has been dishonest in your treatment, you might be able to sue for medical malpractice. However, it would be inappropriate to sue your workers’ compensation doctor for medical malpractice because of a personal gripe or because you didn’t like the outcome of your case.
Nevertheless, at this point, it would benefit you to hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney to determine your legal options and perhaps represent you in court.