How to Go to the Doctor and Get Medical Treatment for a Work Injury
Each year, 4.6 million Americans suffer from workplace injuries. Whether you get a cut or burn, a sprain or a broken bone, getting hurt at work is serious.
You might’ve received information about workers’ compensation when you started your job. But when you get injured, you’re not going to remember those details or what the paperwork said.
The only question on your mind will be, how do I get the medical care I need?
Luckily, it’s not as complicated as you might think. Read on to learn how to go to the doctor after you’ve been hurt on the job.
Getting Treated for a Non-Emergency Workplace Injury
If your injury is a non-emergency, that means it’s not life-threatening. It includes things like back injuries and repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel.
To seek medical attention, you need to check your state’s rules on workers’ compensation medical care. Unfortunately, every state’s laws are different. If you work in a different state than you live, you’ll need to look at the rules for your employer’s state.
Depending on your state, you’ll have one of three options for finding a doctor. You can choose a doctor from an employer-approved list, choose any doctor that’s authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board, or go to a doctor that your employer chooses for you.
If your state allows you to pick your own doctor, it’s wise to choose a workers comp doctor. This type of physician specializes in treating accident injuries and knows how to deal with the legal component of your case.
Getting Emergency Medical Care for Serious Workplace Injuries
If you have a severe injury, you need to go to the emergency room. You should seek expert medical care if you experience puncture wounds, serious cuts, broken bones, or burns. In this situation, the first step is to get immediate medical attention.
For your follow-up care, you’ll need to follow the medical care laws referenced above in the non-emergency section.
Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan
Once you’ve gotten a diagnosis from your injury doctor, he or she will create a treatment plan.
It’s critical that you follow these instructions for two reasons. You’ll heal more quickly when you follow the treatment plan. It also makes a difference for your workers’ comp claim.
If you don’t follow the treatment plan and go back to work too soon, your employer can argue that your claim isn’t valid. You could end up having to cover your medical costs yourself.
Knowing How to Go to the Doctor is the First Step
When you have a workplace injury, figuring out how to go to the doctor can be confusing. If you plan to file a workers’ compensation claim, the process only gets more complicated from there.
Make sure to read the rules for your state and hire an injury lawyer if your case is serious. As part of the claims process, you may also need to have an Independent Medical Exam so the workers’ comp insurance company can verify your injuries.
Getting the right medical treatment after a workplace accident depends on your state. To find more news specific to your state, check out our website.