The most common benefit that someone can receive in a Colonial Heights workers’ compensation claim is payment for medical treatment of their injuries. There is a broad list of injuries that can happen in a workplace setting, including lifting accidents, falls, machine injuries, or inhaling dangerous substances. However, the injury must be directly related to that employee’s work. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can advise you on how to handle this claim and get the most out of your physical recovery.
Whenever an insurance company accepts coverage for a person’s injury, they might send a panel of three or more doctors that the injured person can choose to receive care from. Once they select a caregiver from that panel, they must continue treating with that person.
If there was not a specific referral, the insurance company could potentially send another panel for the injured person to choose a specialist or receive a second opinion. But in general, once a person begins treating with a specific doctor they will be locked in to receiving care from that doctor.
An insurance company is not legally allowed to dictate the medical treatment that an injured worker receives in a local workers’ comp case. The medical treatment decisions are left to a medical professional. There might be instances where certain things can be dictated, such as requesting physical therapy, and there may be specific policies that an insurance company adheres to. Otherwise, a medical professional is the one making the decisions.
It is not uncommon for a patient to feel that the medical treatment they have received was insufficient. When given a panel of doctors to choose treatment with, some patients may not feel like the doctor is on their side or looking out for their best interests. There might be a medical issue that is difficult to diagnose or treat, leading them to feel that their doctor is inadequate.
If the injured person is being treated by a physician whose care they do not approve of, they could file a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWCC) to request a change of physicians. Alternatively, if a worker has their own private health insurance coverage, they could request a second opinion from a doctor of their own choosing. That second opinion could potentially be filed with the VWCC to argue for continued care.
Medical Only claims are claims in which the injured person does not suffer any wage loss. If a person continues to receive their full salary, or if their injury is such that they can continue working as normal, then the only benefits that they would receive is medical treatment paid by the insurance company. The person could still file for wage loss in the future.
The goal with worker’s compensation in Colonial Heights is to get the patient up to maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is when a doctor determines that further treatment would not improve a patient’s condition. Just because somebody has reached maximum medical improvement does not necessarily mean that they would be released back to work, either on full duty or on light duty with restrictions.
If the person has reached maximum medical improvement and still has any restrictions, then they could potentially qualify for continued wage loss benefits. When a doctor determines somebody has reached maximum improvement and can return back to work, the patient could try to contest the finding by requesting a second opinion.
The most important thing after an accident is to get the proper medical care to make a full recovery. When this process occurs under workers’ comp insurance, there may be some aspects that you have little control over. However, it is good to have a lawyer at your side when discussing medical treatment in a Colonial Heights workers’ compensation claim. To learn more about what options you have, call a legal professional and schedule a consultation.