Treating Your Work-Related Injury: What To Know

Posted on: 15 August 2018

Workplace injuries are in a different category than most, but the need to seek treatment is just as vital as with any injury. Your employer has likely provided you with workers' compensation coverage for injuries and occupational illnesses, but the rules about medical treatment may mean that extra steps are needed. To avoid breaking the rules about medical care when you are using workers' compensation, read on.

Should I use my own health insurance for a work-related injury?

Seeking immediate care is the most vital thing to keep in mind regardless of the payment method. Once you arrive at the medical facility or whenever it's convenient to do so you should inform the medical professionals that your injury happened at work. The coding for medical issues is different for workers' comp claims and your doctor needs to know about the way your job was involved in your medical issue as soon as possible. There is no charge for any aspect of medical treatment as long as it is ordered by a doctor.

Special workers' comp doctors

If your injury requires emergency care then you should go to the closest facility and worry about doctors later on. If you need to see a doctor and it can wait for a day then you should consult with your supervisor about the best course of action. Workers' compensation coverage is provided by private insurance companies and each state regulates those companies. Some states will have you seeing a special workers' comp doctor and some allow you to see whoever you like.

Working with the workers' compensation doctor

No matter who you end up using, there are some aspects of medical care when depending on workers' comp benefits that are slightly different than with your usual healthcare insurance. For example:

1. A good working relationship with your doctor will become more and more important as time goes on. This doctor is in control of how much care you receive for your injury as well as when you can return to your previous job. Your doctor will direct your care and work in tandem with your workers' comp carrier.

2. Be honest and assertive when you communicate with the doctor. Your level of pain and discomfort are just as important as the results of diagnostic tests and keeping a "brave face" at this time could mean returning to your job when you are still not well enough.

3. If you need a specialist's care, surgery or physical therapy the orders must originate with your doctor.

Being hurt on the job and being out of work can be tough to deal with and you don't need the extra stress of dealing with claim problems. If any aspect of your work-related injury is in dispute, speak to professionals like Oxner + Permar, PLLC.