Almost all employers provide insurance free of charge to their workers. However, workers who get hurt on the job must take care to know and follow the rules of the insurer. Workers' compensation insurance is all about providing free medical care to hurt workers so that they can get better and return to work. Read on to find out more about how medical treatment plays a large role in your compensation.
First Things First
Being hurt anywhere is always a shock and most people never expect to get hurt while doing their jobs. However, you must seek medical care if you are to be covered by your employer's workers' compensation insurance. You should tailor your treatment to your injury. An emergency room may be appropriate for some, but urgent care clinics may be fine for others. At the very least, be sure to see your own doctor if you are hurt at work or suspect you may be suffering from an occupational illness. Regardless of where you end up, be sure to tell everyone you encounter at the medical facility that your injury is work-related. You should not be charged anything for your visit, nor should you have to pay for your medications at the pharmacy.
The next important move to make is to let your direct supervisor know about your injury if they do not already know. They may file a claim for you, but some states require the worker to file the claim form. Just make sure it's filed because you won't be eligible for any benefits if you fail to do so.
Confirm Your Treatment Options
Once you have sought treatment, find out who you need to see from this point on. Your workers' compensation insurer will be in touch with you soon after the claim is filed to confirm things and let you know about who to use. Sometimes, workers can see anyone, but often, you must see only certain workers' compensation doctors for your continuing care after that initial visit.
Be Watchful of Your Care
Some workers end up with an insurer that fails to treat them with respect or care. Watch out for the following red flags and speak to a workers' compensation lawyer at the first sign of problems:
- Your claim for benefits is denied for unjust reasons.
- You are told you must return to work or you will be fired, and you are still hurt.
- You are being told that you need surgery or more treatment but are being denied that by the insurer.
- You are being told that you have a permanent injury, but you are being offered a low settlement amount.
Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer to find out more.