Consistency is Key

lifetime medical treatment

Lifetime medical benefits mean just that: lifetime medial treatment related to your workers’ compensation injury. Sounds great, right? Yes, BUT you need to understand that workers’ compensation insurance companies are in the business of saving money. If they pay every bill without question, they are not saving a whole lot, so be prepared to show a consistent history of your medical treatment. I tell folks who have been awarded lifetime medical benefits to be sure and USE THEM! Even if you are not having any immediate issues, see the doctor regularly to keep that “paper trail” going. That way, if you do have a problem in the future that needs attention, you have records showing that you have been seen regularly for your injury, the records (hopefully) will also show that you have not been involved in any other accidents or injuries not related to your claim that could have caused your current condition. I have seen many times where injured workers fail to maintain a treatment history after being awarded benefits and then later on, when they are in need of treatment, they find it very difficult for the doctor to say that their current issues are related to the original injury because they have not seen the doctor in over a year (a lot can happen in a year!). I have even seen cases where the Commission has ruled that an injured worker who had a 9 month gap in her treatment was denied benefits because the doctor could not properly relate her current issues to the original injury. The gap in treatment was interpreted as ,” since you haven’t seen the Doctor , you haven’t been in any pain or having any problems“, but the true reason for the gap in treatment was,” I was in a lot of pain and there was nothing really that could be done for it, and I hate taking pain medication so why bother going to the doctor.” The gap in treatment prevented the doctor from saying ,” to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the current medical issues are directly related to the original work accident. “Bottom Line: Even if you have awarded Lifetime Medical Benefits for your injury, you still have the burden of proof to show that the care requested is reasonable, necessary and related to your original injury.

 

2016-10-30T13:42:58+00:00

About the Author:

The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.