Most people know that if they are injured at work, worker’s compensation will cover their medical bills. What you may not know is that you must use the doctor that is covered by your company’s worker’s compensation policy instead of your own. If you go to your own doctor with a work injury, an insurance company can deny your claim.
What To Expect When Making A Worker’s Compensation Claim
When you are injured at work, you must report your injury to your company’s HR specialist within 30 days of the accident.
According to lawyer Nathaniel F. Hansford, the HR worker must provide you with information about your rights. They should provide you with a worker’s compensation claim form, and you should be as detailed as possible when filling out this form.
You will then go to see an approved doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Your employer should have the names of at least six doctors posted in the office. You can also find a list of doctors on the State Board of Workers’ Compensation Physician Database.
In some cases, treatment might be very simple and only require a simple trip to the doctor. In other cases, you may need to take time off of work to recover. If the injury was very serious, you might be unable to return to work. If your injuries prevent you from working, you can file a claim for worker’s compensation payments.
If you need benefits, you will fill out a WC-14 form which is a request for a hearing. You must collect all of the medical bills from the approved doctor and take them with you. You should ask the doctor to write you a medical report.
Remember to save the receipts from any medical expenses, such as prescription or non-prescription drugs. You will then file the claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. If your claim is approved, you must agree to get any treatments the doctor recommends, and you must return to work as soon as they say you can.
What If I Want My Own Doctor’s Opinion?
There is nothing preventing you from going to your own doctor to get their opinion. However, the Worker’s Compensation Board may not consider their opinion when deciding the amount of your benefits.
If your claim is denied, you will want to appeal the decision. You should always hire a personal injury attorney to assist you if you need to dispute a denial. They have years of experience dealing with workers’ compensation claims, and they will know what evidence will help convince the decision-makers to give you the benefits you need. Your own doctor’s opinions may be taken into consideration during an appeal.
For better or worse, you must go to a worker’s compensation doctor when you are injured at work. If you feel they have not treated you properly, an attorney can always help.