When Should You Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Following an Injury on Your Job?
As soon as possible. If you’re injured at work, you should call a lawyer specializing in Workers’ Compensation right away – even though you may be receiving weekly wage loss checks and medical care.
A Workers’ Comp attorney can make sure that the insurance company continues to provide you with proper benefits during your time off. For the first 28 days following a work-related injury the insurance company can dictate where you go for medical treatment. After 28 days, you’re allowed to treat with a doctor of your own choosing. This is one of many rules that exist that insurance companies don’t tell you unless you’re represented by a lawyer who is familiar with the Workers’ Compensation rules.
You should also know that there is a list of doctors that the Workers’ Comp insurance companies try to “steer” you toward for treatment. The insurance companies feel that these doctors are either very conservative by nature; or, because the insurance company provides them a lot of work, they will side more with the employer or insurance companies.
Some of these doctors have private practices, but visit industrial clinics like Concentra to treat injured workers. It’s very important to select your own doctor after the 28-day waiting period so you know you have someone looking out for your best interest – not the interests of your employer or the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier.
As an injured worker, you cannot be forced to have a surgical procedure done even if your treating doctor recommends it. You must decide if you think the surgical procedure will benefit you and assume the risks involved. Surgery is deemed to be an “invasive” procedure and any procedure of this nature can only be done if you agree to it. Obviously the riskier the procedure, the more you should weigh the likely outcomes to ultimately decide if you should have the procedure.
All medical costs with no co-pays including prescription costs must be paid by the Workers’ Compensation insurance company. Mileage to and from medical appointments must be reimbursed as well.
If you were hurt on the job and need help getting Workers’ Comp or have questions, contact Levine Benjamin today.