An injury on the job can get complicated. Physical injuries are more than enough to deal with. Add to that all the requirements outlined by Workers’ Compensation insurance and you may be dealing with your claim full time.
Because this process is so intense, many injured workers rely on the Richmond Workers’ Compensation attorneys at the Injured Workers Law firm for guidance through the process, and to handle all the detailed paperwork that is part of the Workers’ Compensation claim.
Of course, the main concern of most injured workers is getting appropriate medical treatment. This includes who will be handling their medical care and how this care will be paid for. Richmond, a Workers’ Compensation attorney can keep you informed about the progress of your claim, including what you need to do to get your injury treated and which doctors you are allowed to see.
Even if you don’t like the workers’ compensation doctor, you cannot choose another one. If you choose a different doctor or choose to stop seeing the workers’ compensation treating physician, then your benefits may be terminated or suspended for unjustifiable refusal of medical treatment. In Virginia, once an authorized treating physician has been established, that is the only doctor the insurance carrier has to pay. If you seek treatment with a non‑authorized treating physician, you will be responsible for paying for that treatment. There are ways to get a new treating physician but it is difficult and best to discuss strategy with your attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Doctors
A Workers’ Compensation claim normally requires you to see an authorized Workers’ Compensation treating physician. The insurance company may provide you with 3 physicians that you can choose from to treat your injury. Once you select a doctor, you must continue to follow the treatment outlined by this physician. Because of the nature of a Workers’ Compensation claim, you cannot choose a different doctor. This also applies to your employer. Your company cannot send you to a different doctor to try and get a medical report it finds suitable for its own objectives.
Once you have established an authorized treating physician, your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier is required to pay for your treatment.
Keep in mind, there are exceptions to this rule. But generally, it is difficult to have a new doctor approved by Workers’ Compensation. InRichmond, your Workers’ Compensation attorney can review the specific reasons you may want a different doctor and advise you on the best way to proceed.
Your First Visit with a Workers’ Compensation Treating Physician
Your treating physician plays a very important part in your recovery and future work situation. The doctor’s report will weigh heavily in what treatments will be recommended and approved for compensation, as well as what type of work you are capable of doing, if any at all.
To help you establish your case with the doctor, you should be prepared for your first visit. The details you provide upon meeting your doctor for the first time may help substantiate your claim. Write down the specific facts about your accident and injury in advance so you can relay this to the doctor without forgetting anything. Detail all parts of your body that may have been hurt. What may seem like a minor pain now may develop into a more serious complication down the road.
What makes this crucial in a Workers’ Compensation claim is that the doctor is required to note all this information in his initial medical paperwork. The more detailed you can be about how, when, and where the injury happened, the better your case will be.
Another must for your initial doctor visit is to ask for an opinion on your work restrictions. If possible, have the doctor write them down so you can get a copy before leaving his office. This way you have a record of what the doctor believes your functional capacity to be before anyone can push for another opinion. Often, the insurance company or a nurse case manager will try to persuade a treating physician to revise their report in favor of the company. This is why it is important to consult a Richmond Workers’ Compensation attorney.
Finally, before leaving the doctor’s office, make sure you are given a disability slip if you are not able to work. Workers’ Compensation requires a copy of the disability slip in order to pay you your weekly compensation.
Get Help from a Richmond, Virginia Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Dealing with Workers’ Compensation can be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with the pain and suffering from an on-the-job injury. Workers in Virginia have been relying on the team at the Injured Workers’ Law Firm for 21 years.
Learn what you need to know about your Workers’ Compensation claim by requesting a free copy of the Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia. Call 877-755-7744.
About the Author: Injured Workers Law Firm
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.