You should report a work injury to your employer as soon as possible – it must be within 30 days but the sooner the better – to help establish that your injury is work-related. On your initial report to your employer, be sure to list every single medical problem that you think is related, or could possibly be related, to your employment or your work accident.
Your employer or their insurance carrier should provide you with a doctor at their expense as well as all ongoing medical care deemed reasonable, necessary and related to your injury, including surgery, rehab, medications and medical equipment. They are also responsible for mileage to and from your medical appointments and the pharmacy. They can be required to provide an interpreter and in some instances have to provide transportation to and from your medical appointments.
If you suffer from any pre-existing conditions or have had similar injuries in the past, be honest with your doctors and tell them. Invariably those facts are more harmful if they come up later than they are if you are upfront about them from the start. As long as your doctors feel that your work injuries are the primary reason why you need care and/or are disabled, the carrier has to provide benefits, although they can be reduced to the extent that your pre-existing injuries contribute to your disability or your need for care.
After suffering an injury in an accident, it is common for other symptoms or injuries to develop later on that many people would assume are unrelated. If you have developed pain in multiple body parts in the days, weeks or months after your accident, tell your doctor immediately when you notice the new symptoms or at the very next visit. Most employers and insurance carriers routinely deny any new or additional body parts or medical conditions not claimed as injured at the time of the accident. Examples include high blood pressure from pain, digestive problems from medications, pain in your hip, another knee or the back from walking with a limp, etc. While the employers or insurance companies will attempt to convince or manipulate physicians into saying that these symptoms are not related to injuries, as long as the doctors feel that the original accident is the primary reason why the additional injuries or symptoms developed, the employer or the carrier are still responsible for providing care.
Sometimes the hardest part of a workers' compensation injury is the psychological toll. Physical pain can lead to emotional suffering and depression. Under the law, as long as a mental injury is the result of a physical injury, psychological and psychiatric benefits can be awarded. Benefits are not available under Florida workers' compensation laws when there is no physical injury and the only injury is as a result of stress, fright or excitement alone, however.
The bottom line about medical care
Getting proper medical care - and getting it in a timely manner - is crucial when you have been injured on the job. It is absolutely the key to making the best medical and financial recovery possible after a work injury.
Without the right medical care, you:
If you are unhappy with your medical care or if the employer or insurance company is delaying or denying your treatment, call us today at (239) 332-4100 or tap our number below for mobile users.
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