Hurt At Work? What To Know About Medical Care

Posted on: 26 February 2018

If you get hurt on the job, you are entitled to free medical care. The doctor that cares for you after an injury at work is more than just an important facet of your health, they also should be willing to advocate for you to get the medical care you need. In some cases you can choose your own doctor, and in some states you must use a designated doctor. Regardless of that, read on for a guide on working with your workers' comp doctor.

Your Treatment Doctor

Your doctor will be monitoring your progress from the time of your injury until the time when you are able to return to your job. It is this doctor that will make decisions about your care and who will determine when, if ever, you can return to work. Your treatment doctor will have a huge influence on your continued ability to get workers' comp benefits. If your injury turns out to be a permanent one, you may at some point be examined by another type of workers' comp doctor for your independent medical exam.

Duties of Your Treatment Doctor

1. Diagnose and treat your injury or illness. If you fail to seek medical care, you won't be able to get workers' comp benefits. You must seek treatment and follow all treatment advice, whether that be medication prescriptions, surgery or physical therapy.

2. Make referrals. In most cases, your treatment doctor might be a general practitioner who will be overseeing your care, but who is not specialized enough to preform surgeries. If your treatment doctor recommends you see a orthopedist or other specialist, your workers' comp insurance will cover those services.

3. Evaluate you for work restrictions. If your doctor decides that you need time off work to recover, you will be granted paid time off. The amount of pay varies from state to state, but it is usually a certain portion of your salary. For example, you may receive 66.6% of your salary to stay home and recover for a certain amount of time. This money is usually paid weekly and is never taxed. This doctor also decides when you can return to your job.

4. Evaluate your level of disability. If your injury has reached the state of maximum medical improvement, you may have a permanent injury. This means that your injury is not expected to improve further, though you will still need medical care. Your doctor will rate your disability as a percentage and this rating affects your permanent workers' comp benefits.

If you are facing a permanent disability, speak to a workers' comp attorney like the professionals at Philpot Law Firm Pa for help in negotiating your settlement.