After a work injury, workers may be eligible for certain benefits if their claim is accepted and they follow the rules. The way your injury is treated and the compensation you receive for your physical injuries may depend on several factors. Read on and learn more about how your medical situation affects your benefits.
See a Doctor for Your Condition
In most cases, you must visit a medical facility or a doctor for your claim for benefits to be valid. The sooner you do so, the better. Waiting too long (or not going at all) could make it appear that your injury or illness was not that serious. Only serious medical conditions are covered so if a bandage totally heals it, don't bother with workers' comp insurance. That said, some situations are not apparent at first but get worse with time. In that case, seek medical care once your illness is diagnosed.
Work Injuries Are Different
Everything about medical care after a work injury is different so it's best to get things off on the right foot by telling everyone you encounter at the hospital or doctor's office that you are dealing with a work-related injury. Your visit should not cost you anything if it's for a work-related injury. If you use your own healthcare coverage for anything related to the injury, your health insurer may retain the right to recover funds from the workers' comp insurer.
Pay Attention to Your Choice in Doctors
You may see anyone that is available in an emergency but check with the insurer before you go any further than that. In some situations, you may need to see only a certain doctor who will coordinate your care. In other cases, you can see your own doctor. In all cases, you cannot see a specialist unless your primary workers' comp doctor refers you.
Abide by Restrictions
In some cases, hurt workers are released and can return to work in a day or so. Others must recuperate at home for an extended period. Your workers' comp doctor alone is responsible for ordering you to stay home and when to return to work. If you are ordered back to work but are still hurt, stay home and contact the insurer. You could make your injury worse by returning too soon. If the insurer or your employer insists on your return to work, know that you have the right to appeal any decision.
When to Seek Help
Some workers run into problems with their medical restrictions and rulings. For example, they may disagree with the insurer over not only returning to work but about their disability pay, approvals for surgery, the degree of disability they are suffering, and more. If you have tried to work it out with the insurer to no avail, speak to a workers' compensation attorney. They can help you deal with the insurer and get you the compensation and benefits you deserve.