So, you got an injury on the job. It happens: That is the reason we have the workers’ compensation system.
Hopefully, you have already seen a doctor. However, there is a good chance that the doctor you saw will not continue to provide your medical treatment. The question then becomes which caregivers you have access to under workers’ compensation law. Unfortunately, the answer is not often simple.
Step 1: Ask your employer
Your first step would probably be to talk to your employer. The company might have relationships with specific hospitals or doctors’ offices. The human resources department may have protocols in place.
As a matter of fact, talking to people in a position of responsibility at your company is often a good first step in general after an accident. Part of your eligibility to claim workers’ compensation benefits comes from reporting injuries as soon as possible. Most businesses would immediately refer you to appropriate doctors.
Step 2: Talk to the insurer
If you do not get the information you need from your employer directly, it is possible that they do not have protocols in place to handle injuries. In these cases, which are common in small, young businesses, a manager or business owner typically calls the insured and gets information on how to proceed.
Step 3: Negotiate for treatment
The final common scenario you might face is needing specific medical care. Sometimes, if you have a serious injury, the insurance company might need more proof before putting you in contact with specialized caregivers.
You deserve the treatment you need to get better. Sometimes, starting a formal case is the only way to pursue this.
In general, the purpose of workers’ compensation is to give you and your employer a low-conflict way of getting you back to work — or compensating you for your losses. The unfortunate fact is that, to protect their bottom lines, insurance companies sometimes refer workers to low-cost, ineffective treatments. If you feel you are not getting what you deserve, there could be a reason for that suspicion.