You suffered an injury at work and you have followed the correct procedure for reporting the injury to your employer. Now, you have to get the injuries checked out by a physician, preferably the medical professional who monitors your health.
To maximize your workers’ compensation benefits, you have to know what to do when seeking medical treatment for a work-related injury.
Should You Seek Medical Treatment?
Many workers falsely believe they should get injuries treated only when the injuries are serious. Think deep cuts or a broken bone. Even if a workplace incident did not cause a serious injury, you should see a doctor after you complete the steps required by federal law when it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Some injuries such as bruises and a concussion take time to develop visible signs. For example, concussions often develop over several days. Getting treatment for any type of injury takes care of two purposes. First, you receive treatment that immediately alleviates pain and second, the faster you get medical attention, the less likely your employer contests your workers’ comp claim.
Where Should You Go for Medical Care?
For serious injuries that require immediate medical attention, you should get medical assistance at the closest hospital. Emergency medical care is a non-negotiable part of a workers’ comp claim because of the presence of licensed healthcare professionals that confirm that you got help for a serious injury.
For less serious health issues caused by a work-related accident, some states allow employees to select a healthcare provider, while other states provide employers with the legal power to choose a physician. Most employers in California have established a network of healthcare providers that employees must use to process a workers’ compensation claim.
What are the Responsibilities of the Physician?
The physician who treats your injuries plays the most important role in determining whether you receive workers’ compensation benefits. Your doctor has to make a few decisions that concern your medical care.
- Determines if your injuries stem from a work-related incident
- Decides the type of treatment plan you need to make a full recovery
- Recommends the amount of time you need off from work
- Uncovers any symptoms that indicate a permanent disability
- Establishes the work routine that gets you back to work
What Should You share with Your Physician?
Rapid advancements in healthcare technology do not mean all forms of communication should stop between you and your doctor. It is still essential for you to explain the symptoms and severity of pain associated with one or more injuries, as well as what unfolded in the workplace that caused your injuries. Communication is especially important for soft tissue injuries, as medical imaging devices like x-rays frequently cannot detect the presence of soft tissue damage.
How Do You Pay Your Medical Bills?
Although medical bills are not the first issue that pops into your head after a workplace accident, the money that you have to pay to cover medical costs eventually catches up to you. This is the most important reason why you should file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible after suffering a work-related injury.
If your workers’ comp claim comes back denied, you have to pay for your medical bills and work with a California-licensed workers’ compensation attorney to file an appeal. Contact the PLBSH Law Firm to get started on your workers’ compensation claim. You can reach us by submitting the short Contact form or by calling our office at (800) 435-7542.