Some people don’t like to see the doctor. We understand this. But a serious work injury is one situation in which you must see the doctor immediately and schedule follow-up appointments when necessary. You must follow your doctor’s orders to a T. This is not only common sense. There are legal reasons for getting medical treatment that will play a role in your workers’ compensation claim and financial future.
Reason One: Your own well being
The first and most obvious reason you need to see the doctor is that you need treatment to recover from your injury. Some people are tough and resistant to going to the hospital, but your future depends upon a successful medical outcome.
Consider also that your injuries may be more severe than you realize. Sometimes it takes weeks, even months for the full impact of a work injury to reveal itself. A knowledgeable physician can identify hidden risks, and treat them, before they are allowed to worsen.
Reason Two: The legitimacy of your claim
Waiting to see a doctor till after work or until days after the accident took place can only cast doubt on the cause and severity of your injury. Workers’ compensation law only applies to injuries that took place on the job. It must be clear that your injury was work-related or you will not receive any compensation at all. You don’t want to make it any easier for an insurance company to cast doubt on the cause of your injury and to claim it took place at home or in some other environment.
Reason three: Wage loss benefits
The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission will only approve temporary total disability benefits if a doctor has issued restrictions on your ability to work. It may be clear to you that your injury prevents you from performing work duties, but a workers’ compensation claim requires documented proof.
Your job is to recover
Recovering from a work-related accident is difficult enough without having to worry about legal issues. Your most important duty right now is to recover so you can return to work safely and continue to take home a paycheck. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can handle all of the legal details while you focus on getting better.