If you have been injured while working, workers’ compensation may be available to you. Workers’ compensation programs have been designed in a way that is meant to make the process fast and easy. However, one mistake or an incomplete form can cause significant delays — if not a denial of benefits. Furthermore, the more severe the injury is, the more likely you will encounter problems. For this reason, it may be a good idea to talk with a workers’ compensation lawyer about your options. To help you know what to expect from the workers’ compensation process, consider the following.
You May or May Not Get to Choose Your Doctor
All states have their own rules regarding the choice of a doctor for workers’ compensation injuries. Your employer may also have their own regulations. In general, you will likely need to choose a physician who has been authorized by your employer’s insurance company. In some instances, this is only necessary for a limited time; after that, you can choose your own doctor. If you don’t feel comfortable with the treatment, you should talk with your employer as soon as possible. You may also need to let your workers’ compensation lawyer or adjuster know about any new doctors who will be treating you.
Bear in mind, there are known cases in which doctors working with the insurance company have a conflict of interest with patients. In other words, they may deny expensive tests or clear you before you have recovered to continue getting paid by the insurance company. If you believe this is happening to you, please call a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Regardless of how many doctors you see, it is very important that you tell each of them how your accident happened. Be honest, detailed, and specific. You should not make up excuses for your symptoms or injuries, nor should you fail to tell the doctor about those that might not seem too severe. The insurance company will likely review every report in full and look for a reason to deny your claim or limit the amount of compensation you deserve.
The insurance company may also look for a previous medical condition. While you should not try to hide any prior injuries, you should make it clear that you didn’t have disabling symptoms prior to the work injury. A workers’ compensation lawyer can talk with you about how to answer questions, and when.
Be Mindful About Your Medical Authorizations
In general, giving the insurance company a general release for your medical records is not a good idea. Your medical history is none of their business. It is certainly possible that the insurance company will ask you to sign an authorization for your medical records. They might even include this authorization form in the initial forms you are asked to complete during your appointment with the workers’ comp doctor. Anything you sign regarding authorization should very clearly state it is only for your work-related injuries, and records dated after the accident. If you don’t understand something you are being asked to sign, you should consult an attorney, like a workers’ compensation attorney Brooklyn trusts from Polsky, Shouldice, and Rosen, today.