When workplace injuries in Virginia leave employees disabled, they may be assigned a nurse case manager whose role is to monitor care and prepare reports for insurance adjusters. Although this may seem like a good thing, it can have drawbacks. If you’ve been assigned a nurse case manager, schedule a meeting with an attorney who understands Virginia disability law as it applies to Workers’ Compensation.
Just like insurance adjusters, nurse case managers have a goal of helping the insurance company pay out as little as possible for workplace injuries. They may even be under pressure to make sure you have a low disability rating.
Workers’ Comp laws, however, are in place to protect you against financial hardship when you are injured on the job. If you are having trouble obtaining benefits or if you are not happy with your disability rating, a Workers’ Comp attorney well-versed in Virginia disability law may be able to help you fight to preserve your legal rights.
VirginiaWorkers’ Compensation: Dealing With Nurse Case Managers
Although there are some nurse case managers who truly aim to help the injured worker, some are more focused on the best interests of your employer or the insurance company. Therefore, if you do not already have an attorney, you should contact one as soon as possible.
To better deal with a nurse case manager, keep the following 3 tips in mind:
- Insist on being examined by your physician without having your nurse case manager present. This is your legal right, and you should take advantage of it because it gives you the chance to air your medical concerns confidentially with your doctor. If your nurse case manager appears, tell your doctor that you want to discuss your medical issues privately. You should also ask to join the conversation if your case manager asks to privately meet with your doctor.
- Do not allow the nurse case manager to switch your doctor without your consent. This so-called “doctor shopping” may be an attempt to lower your disability rating. Workers’ Comp abuse that you may not be aware of occurs when the insurance adjuster shops around to find a doctor who will say you are cleared for work. In some circumstances, the nurse case manager may even tell you that you need to pick another physician because your doctor will not be available for at least a month or so. Ask yourself, “Why would anyone who has suffered serious workplace injuries go to a doctor who has no patients?” It may be beneficial to stick with your original doctor, make the appointment, and tell the receptionist to call if an earlier appointment becomes available.
- Keep your lawyer informed. Your attorney should be informed of any discussions you have with an insurance adjuster or your case manager regarding treatment or your disability rating. Workers’ Comp is insurance that you should be able to count on when you need it. If you have any concerns that your nurse case manager is trying to take advantage of you, you should bring those concerns to your attorney’s attention.
Workplace injuries such as broken bones and organ damage can leave you sidelined for months or longer. You will probably be so focused on your recovery that you may not have the energy to deal with a nurse case manager and insurance adjusters.
This is why it is important that you seek an attorney who specifically handles Workers’ Compensation cases involving Virginia disability law. When you have an attorney handling your case, you can have an advocate looking out for your best interests.
Suffering workplace injuries? A Virginia Attorney can Help
When you have difficulties with your work-related injury claim, a Virginia Workers’ Comp attorney well-versed in Virginia disability law can bear some of the burden you’ve been placed under. To get back on your feet, whether it means getting back to work or getting the benefits you deserve, order a copy of our free book, the Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia, and contact a Workers’ Comp attorney at the Injured Workers Law Firm for a no-cost consultation – 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.