Worker’s compensation provides benefits for injured workers. Under Louisiana’s workers’ compensation laws (RS 23:1020.1), this program:
- Provides temporary and permanent disability for injured or sick employees hurt at work
- Pays the medical expenses and care costs of covered workers
- Helps workers return to the workforce when possible
As a part of receiving these benefits, the employee must seek, undergo, and continue medical care for their injury or illness throughout this process. While these are no-fault benefits, it is still imperative to be aware of what you say and how you handle the claim to ensure you do not put your benefits at risk.
What to do when you talk to your doctor about your accident and injuries
Workers’ compensation insurers are businesses. As such, their adjusters look for ways to save money and protect their bottom line. This could include sending workers back to work before their injuries heal or denying claimants who should receive benefits.
The conversations you have with the doctor could affect your claim as well as the treatment you receive for workplace injuries. Generally, you should always tell the doctor the truth about your accident, medical history, and injuries.
Do not withhold details or exaggerate about the accident
How your injuries occurred could impact the tests the doctor runs to assess your condition and prescribe treatments. You should tell them the truth about what happened, including all injuries to any affected part of your body.
Be honest about your medical history
You can receive workers’ compensation benefits even if you have a preexisting injury to the affected body part. You should not worry that disclosing a previous injury will hurt your claim. Instead, you should disclose any relevant medical history to the health care professionals treating you so that they can provide an accurate diagnosis and proper care.
Tell the truth about your pain and how it limits you
Some people downplay their injuries and pain after an on-the-job accident. This may occur when the workers’ compensation insurer denies their claim, or they need to return to work as soon as possible for another reason.
This can cause further harm, prevent you from getting the care you need and cause a claim denial if the insurance adjuster does not believe you suffered injuries. You should always report your limitations and pain to the doctor as accurately as possible.
Importance of medical care and following doctor’s orders
Getting prompt medical care, undergoing the prescribed treatment, and continuing your recovery program until the doctor releases you are essential to recovering from injuries. They are also important for getting and keeping workers’ compensation benefits.
If you suffered injuries at work, you must not:
- Delay getting a medical assessment and treatment
- Miss appointments
- Fail to take prescribed medication, undergo surgery, or go to therapy
- Stop treatment too soon
- Change your treatment plan without approval from the doctor or a second opinion from another medical professional
- Return to work or regular activities without permission from the doctor
The best outcome after a workplace injury or illness is a full recovery, receiving the benefits you deserve, and returning to the workforce. Getting treatment, therapy, and the proper care is crucial for these goals.
Even when your injuries are serious and may lead to long-term disability, you should seek care from a medical professional. Doing so will document your injuries and limitations for your workers’ compensation case and help prove your need for long-term disability benefits.
An attorney may be able to help with your benefits and other compensation
If you cannot get the workers’ compensation insurer to approve your benefits, you may need to work with an attorney who knows how to appeal these decisions and provide evidence as necessary.
Some victims may also be able to pursue compensation in a third-party claim. While you cannot sue your employer, a lawsuit may be possible against another party who caused your injuries. For example, imagine you were hurt by a distributor making a delivery at your workplace. You may have a claim or suit against that company and be able to recover personal injury damages.
You may only have up to one year to file this type of lawsuit, per CC Art. 3492. You can enlist the help of our personal injury law firm after a workplace accident to learn more.
Talk to Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers about your claim for free today
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers provides complimentary case reviews for workers injured on the job in Louisiana. It may be possible to challenge a denial of your workers’ compensation claim or pursue additional compensation through a personal injury case. Our team members can offer a free assessment of your situation today.
Call us at (337) 777-7777 to get started immediately and learn more about your legal options.