If you get injured at work, you will probably have many questions. You may not be sure of the severity of your injury, how long or complicated the healing process will be, or when you can return to your regular duties. That can mean falling behind on your bills and not getting all the medical care you need, all while hoping you can get back to work at some point.
The most important thing you can do during that time, from the standpoint of protecting yourself financially and legally, is to know your health care rights for workers’ compensation insurance. Here is what to consider when making your case and filing for these benefits, so you can have the best chance of receiving all that is due to you.
Understanding Your Choice of Doctor
If you predesignated a doctor, you could see them for treatment after your injury. However, if you did not have a predesignated health care professional, you will have to see one approved by the Division of Workers’ Compensation and selected by your employer.
This doctor must come from the Medical Provider Network or Health Care Organization your employer selected, but not all employers have taken this step. If your employer chooses no HCO or MPN, your doctor will be set by the claims administrator for your case. You must see that doctor for the first 30 days, and then you can choose your doctor, as long as they are reasonably close to your current location.
Options for Alternative Care
Alternative medical professionals such as acupuncturists and chiropractors could become your primary care provider after 30 days only if you already designated them before your injury. You are also limited to 24 visits to your chiropractor before choosing another primary provider will be required. If you did not predesignate a chiropractor or acupuncturist as part of your medical team, using them as your care provider for a workers’ compensation claim will not be possible.
Moving Through Disagreements
It is not uncommon to have disagreements regarding your medical care. Working with a medical evaluator will help you and the claims administrator resolve any differences you have throughout the process. This is much like working with a mediator. Read any correspondence you get about your claim, and speak up if you feel there are inaccuracies. Following proper procedures, time limits, and requirements can make the entire process easier.
Work With a Trusted Legal Professional
Do you need legal support and representation for your workers’ compensation claim? Contact us at Hussain & Gutierrez today, and get the information and guidance you are looking for. We know that an injury on the job can cause stress and uncertainty, but legal help makes navigating the workers’ compensation process easier. We want to ensure your rights are protected and you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled.