As soon as possible after you have sustained an injury in your workplace or associated with the duties of your position, you need to consult with your employer and file an official report.
This is true even if you are not yet sure whether or not you will move forward with a workers’ compensation claim in New Jersey.
Why Do I Need to Notify My Employer?
The reason is because if you do ultimately decide to move forward with a workers’ compensation claim, your employer has to be notified within a relatively short time period or you could jeopardize your ability to recover benefits.
Every state has their own regulations and rules associated with workers’ compensation claims but one rule is the same throughout all states and that is that individuals seeking benefits have to be both evaluated and officially diagnosed by workers’ compensation doctors that are hired by the employer’s insurance company. This does not mean, however, that you can only visit with those specific doctors.
Can I Still See My Own Doctor?
You may wish to see your primary care physician as well or other specialists as recommended. However, you do need to attend all appointments associated with the recommended workers’ compensation doctors.
Your claim highly depends on the medical opinion of the doctor that you select from the insurance company’s approved list. So following the rules and selecting the right doctor as well as attending all of these appointments is extremely important.
What You Should Know About Seeing an Approved Doctor
One thing to keep in mind is that while some doctors may choose to work for an insurance company on one of these approved lists is simply because they do care about patient outcomes and enjoy helping patients, the majority of individuals who participate in this role are financially motivated.
If they were to suggest that severe injuries are associated with the majority of the patients they see in this process, the insurance adjustor may ultimately remove this doctor from the approved list.
Soft Tissue Injuries a Leading Cause of Workers’ Comp Claims
The majority of workers’ compensation claims for injuries on the job involve soft tissue injuries, torn cartilage and herniated discs. Back injuries are extremely common and the primary cause of a patient’s back pain after a workplace injury often requires tests like CT Scans and MRIs.
Many insurance companies prefer not to spend money on these diagnostics because they can complicate the entire claim and for this reason your insurance company approved physician may not recommend that you get these diagnostic tests done.
However, it is in your best interests to push for tests if you suspect that your injuries are more severe than what the doctor is explaining.
Why You Should Always Consider a Second Opinion from Your Own Doctor
Getting a second opinion can be extremely valuable because many insurance company approved doctors may be more likely to treat your condition with pain medication rather than delving deeper into the issue and using diagnostic tests to figure out the source of the pain.
You may be requested by the insurance company to submit to an independent medical examination.
The following reasons are common for why the insurance company may request this of you:
- There may be a controversy about your condition and your right to achieve benefits so evidence is needed to resolve this issue.
- The claim is either becoming expensive too quickly or is moving too slowly.
- The insurance company disagrees with your private doctor or with their own doctors.
Having the right workers’ compensation attorney to assist you with this complicated and sometimes frustrating process is strongly recommended since there is so much on the line for your future.
Frequently Asked Question About Workers’ Compensation
- What Should I Do If I Am Injured At Work?
- What Should I Expect in a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Case?
- Are You Working at One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in The United States?
Don’t Wait ! Talk to An Expert New Jersey Workers’ compensation Attorney
Complying with the insurance company’s request to visit with their approved doctor is certainly important but it is also valuable to get a second opinion and to monitor your own condition. You may be the strongest advocate for your own health concerns.
Recently been injured on the job? Speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately after a work injury in order to protect the integrity of your claim.
Learn more about whether you can recover compensation for a desk injury in this blog: https://www.schibelllaw.com/workers-compensation-claim-if-i-work-at-a-desk/