How The Doctor Treating You Impacts Your Workers’ Comp Case
Seeing a medical professional as soon as possible is one of the initial steps people take after a workplace injury. After all, it is critical to obtain proper medical treatments to ensure a rapid and complete recovery. However, the treating workers’ comp doctor has an even larger role in a workers’ comp case.
Discover below how vital the treating physician is in a workers’ compensation case. If you have questions about your situation, Wisconsin workers’ comp lawyers at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick, & Graf can help you.
Why Your Treating Physician Is Critical To Your Workers’ Comp Case
A workers’ compensation physician makes vital decisions about your injury’s severity. Their views of your workplace injuries will significantly affect the trajectory of the case. During the workers’ comp case, the treating physician has the following roles:
They Diagnose And Treat The Job-Related Injury
When you set up a time to see the treating physician, they will ask many questions. For example, they will ask how the workplace injury happened and any preexisting condition that may have made it worse.
The treating doctor will collect as many details of the accident as possible. Then, they will examine you and give you the necessary medical treatments. If you need ongoing care, the doctor will detail additional therapies to bring you back to health.
They Determine Job Restrictions
Sometimes a serious job-related injury can cause disability that prevents you from doing your job. This can continue until you recover fully or the disability might be permanent. The treating doctor will determine if you need time off to improve. They also will decide when you can go back and work safely.
It is essential to your health and your workers’ comp claim to listen to what your doctor says about job restrictions. Unfortunately, many injured parties attempt to go back to work too fast and aggravate the injury. This can negatively affect the workers’ comp claim.
For example, if you are a warehouse worker and pulled your back, taking the necessary time off is critical to let the muscles, tendons, and ligaments heal. On the other hand, going back to full duty too soon could make the muscle pull worse and lead to a disc or other injury. In addition, disobeying the doctor’s orders could negatively affect your workers’ comp payments.
They Write A Medical Report For Your Company
After the doctor checks your workplace injuries, they will write an extensive medical report noting their findings. The report is sent to your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company. If you retained a Wisconsin workers’ comp attorney, they will also receive the report.
The doctor’s report will list your workplace injuries, how they happened, symptoms from the injuries, medical history, treatment plans, and job restrictions.
They Decide Your Permanent Disability
When you get to maximum medical improvement, the treating doctor will check if you have a permanent disability. The treating physician’s conclusions are essential to determine what you will receive in disability benefits.
Who Chooses The Workers’ Comp Doctor In Wisconsin?
Wisconsin state law says that if you are hurt at work, you can choose a doctor to treat you. Wisconsin state law says you can select any licensed doctor. If you have an emergency, your company can make arrangements to get you treated. After the emergency, you can choose your treating physician.
State law also states that you can choose another if you are not confident about the first treating physician. You must tell your company about the situation, but they cannot object to the second doctor.
After the initial doctor change, the worker, employer, and workers’ comp insurance company must agree to any future changes. If the attending physician refers you to medical specialists, the referral is deemed treatment by a single doctor. If several physicians are seen in one clinic, this also is only one doctor.
How Do You Choose A Treating Physician?
Wisconsin allows the patient to choose the treating physician in a workers’ comp case. You should take advantage of the opportunity; relying on the insurance company’s physician could lead to substandard medical care.
Some company physicians are excellent, but it is common for them to minimize costs for their employer. It is common for company and insurance doctors to spend less on diagnostic testing and offer fewer treatments. They also might send you back to work before you are ready. Company doctors also may argue that you have a preexisting condition. When choosing the treating physician, consider these factors:
- How much skill and experience they have in your type of injury
- What their specialty is
- How often they deal with workers’ compensation claims
- Whether they are willing to accept work injuries
- How close is the doctor to your home
- How available they are for appointments
Selecting a doctor familiar with Wisconsin’s workers’ comp laws is essential. If the doctor does not know the law, they can make errors that will damage your claim. For instance, your workers’ comp payments do not begin until the physician sends the correct forms to the insurance company saying you cannot work.
Also, some medical treatments and tests must be pre-approved, or the insurance provider will not cover them. Regular medical reports must be submitted so you can continue to receive workers’ comp payments.
Contact Our Wisconsin Workers’ Comp Lawyers
After you are hurt on the job, you could have injuries that prevent you from doing your regular work. If so, you will need to go to the doctor to have your injuries evaluated. The treatments the doctor gives will have a significant impact on your case.
Our Wisconsin workers’ comp lawyers will work with your doctor to ensure you get the most money for your workers’ compensation claim. Our attorneys proudly serve injured clients in Wisconsin in Appleton, Brookfield, Fon du Lac, Kenosha, Madison, Manitowoc, Menomonee Falls, New Berlin, Oshkosh, and Wisconsin Rapids. Contact Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf today to learn how our lawyers can assist with your workers’ comp claim: (414) 257-2667.