If you are injured at work in Columbia, the very first thing that you should do is notify your employer and file a Report of Injury. If there is an emergency that requires you to seek immediate medical treatment immediately, you may not have time to file a Report of Injury. However, you should still do so as soon as possible.
Below we are providing some tips and answers to commonly asked questions when it comes to seeking medical treatment in Columbia workers’ compensation claims. A skilled workers’ comp attorney could answer any other questions you may have.
Under state law, if you are injured at work, the employer has a right to choose the doctors that you see for your medical treatment if you are asking for your employer to pay for your medical care. At any time, you can seek your own medical care, but you may be forfeiting your right to have that treatment paid for by your employer. Additionally, if you use the physicians provided by your employer, it is important to know that your employer and/or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier will get access to your treatment records.
One of the biggest mistakes we see in Columbia workers’ compensation claims is when a claimant stops attending medical appointments. Failure to attend your appointments can, and will, be used against you in your workers’ compensation claim. Be sure to attend all your appointments timely so that you do not jeopardize your future medical benefits or additional benefits available to you in the claim.
Do not postpone asking to be seen by a doctor after your workplace injury. Seek medical treatment immediately. Seeking early medical care is not only important to your claim but it is necessary to ensure a speedy recovery. Moreover, if there is a delay in your requests for treatment, your employer may try to use that as evidence that you were not injured at work. Trying to tough out an injury may exacerbate your medical condition and lead to your claim for medical treatment being denied. Seek the medical treatment you need immediately to aid your recovery and strengthen your workers’ comp claim.
Always be honest with your physicians about how your injury occurred and the nature and extent of your condition and pain. Downplaying your symptoms may result in you not receiving the proper treatment that you need. Additionally, telling your physicians your injuries are not work-related will be used against you in your workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes, you may describe how you are injured but you may be unsure about how the injury happened. Speculating or outright guessing about your injury may be as bad as if you had been dishonest. Be clear with your physicians about what you do not know when seeking treatment for your workers compensation claim. Let the experts determine what the facts mean for your case.
If your claim has been denied and you are still in need of treatment, you need to contact a lawyer immediately. Generally, it is the employer’s obligation to pay for all authorized medical care. If it is later determined that your injury is work-related, you can seek reimbursement for all bills related to medical treatment.
If you are injured on the job and have questions regarding your medical treatment or benefits. Give us a call today for a free consultation. Our legal team could help you understand the importance of seeking medical treatment in Columbia workers’ compensation claims.