Those who have just submitted a workers compensation claim may be wondering what exactly happens next. An employee may fear retaliation from their supervisors for filing such a claim, and may not be sure whether they can see their doctor instead of the work-assigned physician. These are both very legitimate thoughts and concerns. In the article here, we have answered many of the common questions a worker may have about employee injury benefits. Read further for more information about the workers compensation process.
Does workers compensation cover injuries, and illnesses too?
Workers compensation benefits can cover both injuries and illnesses that occurred as a result of the work environment or task. This benefit program was designed in a way where it does not matter who was at fault, the employee is to be financially covered for medical expenses related to the condition. However, there is an exception to this rule. If an employee had self-inflicted the injury, or was under the influence when the accident happened, benefit coverage may be at risk. A worker’s injury claim may be denied if either of these factors contributed to the injury or illness.
What should I do if my supervisor is treating me differently?
It is unlawful for a manager to treat an employee in a negative way after filing a workers compensation claim. This is the reason why many workers are afraid to report a work-related injury, out of concern they may miss out on a promotion, raise or other opportunities. An employee may try to shrug off a work incident even when the injury requires medical attention, out of fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, this untreated injury or illness may worsen over the days or even weeks that follow.
Can I see my own primary doctor about the work injury?
Whether a worker can see their own personal doctor about a work injury depends on the laws for that state. An employee may be able to get a second opinion from their primary doctor after the work-assigned doctor has performed an exam. It can get tricky if both doctors do not agree on the same diagnosis or treatment plan. A work-assigned doctor may be biased and try to save your employer money by minimizing your condition. If this were to happen, a worker may want to speak with a legal professional for advice right away.
When should a worker consider meeting with an attorney?
If for any reason an employee feels that something is suspicious about the way their workers compensation injury claim is being handled, seeking a work injury lawyer trusts may be a good idea. It is recommended a worker contacts an attorney if he or she is experiencing any of the following during the workers compensation benefits process:
- The employee was terminated soon after the injury claim was filed
- The employee is experiencing mistreatment from upper management
- The employer is trying to discourage employee from filing injury claim
- The employer did not take proper steps when reporting accident
- The employer did not file the workers compensation paperwork timely
- The employee did not receive a fair amount of benefit coverage for the injury