The employee is entitled to lifetime medical benefits as ……

Medical benefits for your injury.  The employee is entitled to lifetime medical benefits as long as the treatment is related to the original work injury and the treatment is deemed reasonable and necessary by the treating physician.   To get a treating physician, your employer must provide you with a panel of three physicians from which to choose.  If they do not provide you a panel within a reasonable period of time or your employer denies your workers’ compensation claim, you can choose your own treating physician.  It is horrible that a valid claim may be denied, but the only blessing may be that you get to choose your own treating physician.  Many unscrupulous insurance adjusters put physicians on their panels whom they know will be more in favor of the employer and the insurance company than the injured worker.  The issue of providing a panel within a “reasonable time” is very difficult to figure out and really just depends on the severity of the injury.  Many times employers and insurance companies deny medical benefits, saying that the medical treatment is not related to the accident.  This happens often with back injuries.  Many times, people may have had sore backs prior to a significant accident at work.  The insurance company may try to say that the back surgery is due to these prior minor injuries and not due to the current work accident.  It is important to know that aggravations of pre-existing conditions are covered under workers’ compensation.  This means that even though you may have prior back issues, if you have an accident at work that aggravates your back, you will be able to get medical treatment for it.  The problem comes with employers and insurance companies trying to say that the accident was not significant enough to cause any aggravation to your prior injuries.  Therefore, it’s very important when you talk to the physician to make sure you are very clear with him so your injury is documented correctly.  Medical benefits include all medical treatment for the injury.  This includes prescriptions, mileage, and medical equipment.  There are no co-payments.  You are entitled to mileage to and from physical therapy, to and from the doctor, to and from hospitals for diagnostic tests, and any medical treatment.  As of 2009, mileage is 50.5 cents per mile.  In the appendix, I have attached a sample mileage chart to help you collect your mileage benefits.


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.