You Cannot Choose Your Own Doctors to Treat Your Work Injury Unless Your Employer Leaves You No Other Choice
If you get injured at work, you have a responsibility to notify your employer promptly of your injury. Likewise, your employer must refer you to a doctor in a timely manner and have their workers’ compensation insurance pay for your treatment. What do you do if your employer fails to initiate treatment, or if your employer denies your claim and refuses to pay for your treatment at all? Do you just stay home while your symptoms worsen and, with no paycheck, you fall farther and farther behind on your bills? No matter how high your tolerance for pain, that is probably not an option financially. Instead, you would probably go to a doctor so that you can get well enough to go back to work, even if it means that you will be making small payments on your medical bills for years to come, not to mention frequent phone calls to the billing department, asking them to continue to accept your steady stream of small payments and not to send your account to collections. You might even take out a personal loan to pay for your treatment, if you can get one. It might sound too good to be true, but with the help of a South Florida workers’ compensation lawyer, it is possible to get your employer to reimburse you for your treatment of a work injury after you have paid for it on your own.
When You Have No Options Besides Paying for Treatment Out of Your Own Pocket
Herman suffered a right shoulder injury at work in 2003; the injury was severe enough to require surgery. After the surgery, the pain got worse and spread all the way down his arm; as he is right-handed, this made it very difficult for him to work at his construction job. He was eventually diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which eventually got so bad that he could barely use his right arm or right leg. He required the treatment of orthopedists, pain management specialists, neurologists, and a psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with depression which was made much worse by his chronic pain and inability to work.
Herman’s employer denied the claim, citing Herman’s prior injuries as a possible cause of his pain; they went to court, and the Judge of Compensation Claims sided with the employer. Meanwhile, Herman was paying for his own treatment, as he had no other choice. Herman appealed the ruling, and the appeals court ordered the employer to pay for his treatment. It ordered the employer to authorize Herman’s doctors as workers’ compensation providers, since it determined that the care they provided for him was “compensable, reasonable, and medically necessary.”
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Herman’s story has a happy ending, but employers do not just magically change their minds and decide to pay for your treatment. If your employer has denied your claim, you need a Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld for help with your case.