Smith & Baltaxe, LLP

Workers’ Compensation and Medical Care

By Byron Smith on April 11, 2018

Medical careWhen an injury occurs at work or as a result of work-related responsibilities, employees have a right to medical treatment covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation covers the costs of medical expenses, as well as lost wages from time away from work. However, employees must use workers’ comp doctors that are within their employer’s approved medical network. 

Unfortunately, some worker’s comp doctors look out for the best interest of the employer, rather than that of the patient. It is not uncommon for a workers’ comp doctor to sign off on releasing an employee back to work before he or she is actually ready. 

At Smith & Baltaxe, LLP, our experienced attorneys help clients find approved workers’ comp doctors who will consider the best interests of our clients. We can help our San Francisco, CA clients receive the workers’ compensation and medical care they need for their work-related injuries.

Receiving Workers’ Comp Care

When a work-related injury occurs, it is important for employees to do what is necessary to receive workers’ comp medical care. These are the steps for filing a workers’ comp claim so that appropriate medical care can be provided:

  • Report the injury: A work-related injury must be reported as soon as possible after it occurs. Preferably, the employee will report the injury to a manager as soon as it occurs. This will prevent delays in the filing process.
  • Seek emergency medical care, if necessary: If an injury is severe, the employee should seek emergency medical care. The employee should either call 911 or go to an emergency room as soon as possible. The employer can let employees know where they should go for emergency medical care. It is important to let the hospital know that you are being treated for a work-related injury.
  • File a workers’ comp claim: Employers must provide employees with a workers’ comp claim form within one working day after learning of the injury. This form should be filled out and returned as quickly as possible.
  • Receive non-emergency treatment: After a workers’ comp claim has been accepted, the employee can receive any non-emergency medical care that is required. The employer will provide the worker with a list of approved workers’ comp doctors. It is important to work with a doctor who is experienced in treating your specific injury. Be sure to clearly communicate all symptoms and concerns, and work closely with the doctor and employer to create a return-to-work plan that is most appropriate based on your injuries.

What if I’m Unhappy with My Medical Care?

It is important to work with a workers’ comp doctor who will properly treat injuries and not rush the employee back to work before he or she is ready. Our attorneys have worked with many workers’ comp doctors. We can go over our client’s list of approved medical care providers and recommend one who will look out for the patient’s best interests. 

In the event that a client is not happy with the medical care they receive under workers’ comp, a second opinion can be sought. Our attorneys can assist clients in seeking medical care from an agreed medical examiner that works independently of the insurance company. 

We will always take the steps necessary to ensure our clients are receiving the best medical care and the maximum benefits allowable under workers’ compensation insurance.

Contact Us

If you have been injured at work and have questions about your right to medical care, the experienced workers’ comp attorneys at Smith & Baltaxe, LLP can help. Contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your injury and learn more about your rights to workers’ comp benefits.

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