When workers are injured on the job, they need to get prompt medical care. This is especially true for things like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal injuries, internal injuries and the like. It is often difficult for workers to know how severely injured they are in the moment, so it is best for any injured worker to see a medical professional to determine the severity of their harm.
This need for a professional evaluation is due, in part, to the reality that the workers’ comp process involves providing documentation. This can include medical evidence, medical reports, opinions from service providers and medical bills. The documentation should prove how significant the injury is, why it keeps the employee out of work, how long it is expected to last and what type of treatment they are receiving. The bills for this treatment can then be covered by workers’ comp, along with a portion of the wages the employee has lost during their recovery period
Following the doctor’s orders
If you find yourself in this position, you may initially start following your doctor’s orders. But as you start to heal and feel better, you may be tempted to stop your medical care early. This could be a major mistake and should be avoided.
The problem is that, if the insurance company sees a gap in your medical care, your insurer may claim that you have healed from your injury. They may insist that you must be able to return to work because you’re not being treated any longer. If this happens, you could then lose the benefits that are supposed to be covering your ongoing medical bills and your lost wages.
Additionally, stopping treatment early could worsen your condition. It could make it more likely that you will be re-injured in the future, or your injury may not heal properly and could morph into a long-term disability. It’s almost always a good idea to follow a doctor’s orders for as long as necessary, even when you feel that you are making progress and healing.
In a nutshell? Don’t stop your medical care prematurely. Your medical benefits are a critical part of your overall workers’ comp benefits. If you have questions about these matters, talk to an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to receive clarity and personalized guidance.