The Importance of Seeing a Doctor After a Workers’ Compensation Injury

It is essential to take appropriate action when seeking medical treatment if you have an injury or illness that could be covered by a workers’ compensation claim. Seeking suitable medical care is vital to ensure that you can continue on a path toward recovery. It is also important to keep complete medical records of your treatment for the purpose of getting the most from your workers’ compensation benefit. 


When Should You Seek Medical Treatment?

If you have been injured or you have discovered an illness, you should seek medical treatment immediately, even if you believe the condition is not serious. Contacting and consulting with a doctor promptly after a work-related accident that caused injury or from the first moment you discover an illness, it imperative to help substantiate and prove your workers’ compensation claim. 

Timely treatment is necessary for two distinct reasons. First, and most importantly, receiving care from the onset of your injury or illness increases the likelihood of a speedy and full recovery. Second, the closer in time and in proximity your treatment is to the work-related incident that caused your injury, the stronger your claim will be that the medical issues you are facing stem from the work-related incident. 

Do not minimize your symptoms. If you delay in seeking medical advice, then your injury or illness could grow worse and your employer could claim that the cause of your medical issue is not related to your employment, thereby circumventing your workers’ compensation claim. 


Where to Go for Treatment

If your injury is such that you need urgent medical attention, then visiting the nearest emergency room is the best option. On the other hand, if your condition does not require immediate medical attention, then seeking medical care outside of the emergency room is an option.  

Some states allow an injured party to choose the doctor who will treat you for your injuries, while other states provide that your employer or its insurer has the ability to determine which doctor you will be allowed to visit. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act gives employers the right to establish a list of designated health care providers, so injured or ill workers must seek treatment from one of the designated providers for about three months from the date of their first visit.


Choosing Your Doctor is Important

Establishing a trusting relationship with your treating physician is critically important. While it might be difficult to build an organic relationship with doctors hired by or provided by employers or insurance companies, working with a doctor to achieve your health goals is important. 

To be clear, it is important to receive treatment from a doctor you know and trust. Selecting a doctor whether from a prescribed list or from the market pool, you should consider a variety of different qualifications like education, experience, and professionalism. Not only will your treating physician help you on your path to recovery, but he or she will play a central role in developing the authenticity of your workers’ compensation claim. 

Alongside the physician that you select, you will make decisions about your treatment and care. The treating doctor will write reports about your condition and how you are improving or digressing, and those documents will be eligible to be considered during the course of your workers’ compensation claim. 

Status reports from your doctor can affect your eligibility for benefits and can impact the timing of when you will be expected to return to work. Your doctor can also help determine whether your condition should be deemed a temporary disability or a permanent disability. 

Choosing a doctor or medical professional who can clearly and articulately explain your conditions and lasting symptoms is important for the longevity of your workers’ compensation claim. Weighing both the quality of care you will receive and the reliability of expertise in writing, describing and validating workers’ compensation claims is important in selecting your medical provider. 


What Should You Tell Your Doctor?

Doctors rely on patient communication and openness in order to understand your medical issues and most accurately diagnose symptoms. Even with advanced medical technology that will aid doctors diagnosing your injury or illness, some issues cannot be validated outside of your description of your experience. 

It is critical that you are both truthful and clear in describing your symptoms. While it is important that you do not exaggerate the issues you are experiencing, it is equally important that you do not minimize your suffering. An experienced doctor will know when you are not telling the truth, and you will lose credibility.

Sharing more with your physician than less is the best option for your health. All of your symptoms are important to disclose, even those that seem minor to you; remember that your chosen doctor is a medical expert whose goal is to see you heal successfully. 


Will Workers’ Compensation Pay My Medical Bills?

Employers are usually required to pay for an injured employee’s medical bills until a decision about a workers’ compensation claim has been adjudicated. 

Then, if the claim is successfulIf your claim is approved, your employer will continue to pay for your medical bills for approved treatment. If your claim is denied, then you will need to file an appeal and you will be asked to pay for continuing treatment until the appeal is complete. 

While some doctors will occasionally agree to continue treatment based on a “lien,” which simply means that payment of medical bills will ultimately come out of any monetary recovery you might receive via your workers’ compensation claim. 


Can the Injury Care Center Help Me? 

Workers’ compensation cases are challenging and can be difficult to navigate, particularly if there are issues with your employer’s insurance company. However, what is absolutely paramount is your health, ensuring you are moving forward on your path to recovery is any medical professional’s goal for you. 

That is especially true here at the Injury Care Center. We have many different medical professionals ready to help you recover from your work-related injury. It is what we specialize in. Contact us today for additional treatment information.