Seeking help from a Workers’ Compensation benefits attorney in Richmond from the start of your work injury claim could eliminate some of the common mistakes made. One of those is neglecting to follow doctor’s orders.
Can I see my regular doctor?
In most cases, you will be required to see a doctor covered by workers’ comp, so that means it will be someone your employer or insurance company chooses. You might be more comfortable seeing your own doctor, but unless your employer agrees let you use your own doctor, you will have to see whoever is assigned.
This can sometimes create a conflict for the injured worker. There may be a lack of trust in what the doctor is prescribing for treatment. However, a failure to follow through on his or her orders could lead to your work injury benefits ending.
This doesn’t just include treatment recommendations, but making sure you attend all appointments. Not showing up for therapy or a follow-up doctor visit can jeopardize your claim.
What if I don’t follow doctor’s orders?
Remember that you are out of work because of a disability. Your employer and insurance company want to see you back at work. So when you fail to follow the doctor’s orders or show up for appointments, your recovery and healing time may take longer.
As a result, you may be ordered to attend all medical appointments. If you still don’t comply, then the insurance company or your employer can file an application requesting that your benefits stop. Once they have been stopped, any attempts to reinstate them will be difficult. It can take a long time, possibly months or years.
It’s important that you follow the doctor’s orders so that you can be properly treated for your condition. But it may also prevent your employer or insurance company from finding a reason to end your Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Are there exceptions that allow me to see my doctor?
If you are having problems with the doctor and would like to see your own, in some states this can be done. In Virginia, your employer should provide you with a panel of physicians from which to choose. Section 65.2-603 of the Code of Virginia states, “The employee shall accept the attending physician, unless otherwise ordered by the Commission…”
Of course, there may be legitimate concerns that you have with the doctor treating you. For instance, you may suspect that he or she is working more for the insurance company or your employer, and not you. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission warns, “Do not change doctors without employer/carrier permission or after a hearing by the Commission.”
This doesn’t mean you are without options. If you have legitimate concerns about the treatment plan or when the doctor is ordering you back to work, you can always seek legal counsel to go over your options.
Help from a Workers’ Compensation Benefits Attorney in Richmond
There are many mistakes that an injured worker could make, which may lead to benefits being terminated or denied. To avoid some of these issues, it may be in your best interest to talk with a Workers’ Compensation benefits attorney in Richmond.
The process of filing a working injury claim can be lengthy with lots of paperwork. Making matters worse, you may not have a clear understanding of your rights. If you have been injured in a work accident, take advantage of our no-cost consultation. At the Injured Workers Law Firm we can explain your rights as an employee and what you can do to make the claims process easier.
We also offer a FREE Workers’ Compensation guide, which can reduce some of the confusion and uncertainty you may be feeling. It may also help you determine if you have a legitimate claim. If so, call our office at 877-755-7744 or 804-755-7755.
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.