Follow the Doctor’s Orders: How Failing to Do So Can Affect Your Ability to Retain Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Like most other workers, you went to work that day simply hoping to earn a living for you and your family when you were unexpectedly injured in a workplace accident. The silver lining to your untimely workplace injury is that under Florida workers’ compensation law, any employee who is injured on the job is generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include any medical care that is necessary to helping you recover.
However, this entitlement is not absolute. And one of the ways that you can jeopardize your claim is by failing to comply with your medical care instructions.
What Kind of Medical Care Are Injured Workers Usually Entitled To?
After you report your injury to your employer by informing your boss or supervisor as soon as possible after the accident, you should obtain medical care. Workers’ compensation benefits can extend to many forms of care when deemed medically necessary, including:
- Emergency room visits
- Hospital stays
- Doctor appointments
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment
- Diagnostic tests
What is the Connection Between My Medical Care and My Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Fortunately, here in Florida you are not financially responsible for the medical care you receive. However, the trade off of this benefit is that your employer and/or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier are entitled to direct the medical treatment of an injured worker. This includes choosing the physician who treats you.
Your treating physician has significant influence over everything from the amount of benefits you receive to when you are expected to return to work. Therefore, your compliance with your treating physician’s treatment plan is imperative to obtaining and keeping workers’ compensation benefits and you should always attempt to do so.
However, you should also keep in mind that the physician authorized by your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier will have an additional interest that can, unfortunately, be adverse to your goal of a complete recovery. Your physician is being paid by your employer and the workers’ compensation carrier and therefore has an interest in ensuring that you return to work as quickly as possible, at the lowest possible cost. This is why it is so important that you obtain an experienced workers’ compensation attorney after being injured at work. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have more than 40 years of combined experience helping people maximize their benefits in these kinds of situations.
What Should I Do to Comply With My Doctor’s Orders?
- Do not skip doctor appointments
- Never return to work before your doctor tells you to
- Be cooperative during appointments and make good faith efforts to comply with treatment plans
Have You Or a Loved One Been Injured at Work? Allow Us to Help.
If you or someone you love has been injured while working, we can advocate for you and ensure you recover the benefits you are entitled to while you focus on recovery and complying with the medical advice of your doctor. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people like you. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.