You can choose your own doctor. Some people pre-designate a certain medical care provider to be their doctor if they’re injured at work, but most people don’t end up doing that. If your employer sends you to the industrial clinic after you’re injured, you’re entitled to change your doctor at any time after that. Until they tell you your claim is denied, you would most likely need to get a doctor who’s part of their medical provider network (MPN).
Now, if your claim is eventually denied or if your employer doesn’t take the steps to send you to a doctor in the first place, then you can go to your own doctor or one of your choosing. The insurance company would have to pay for that treatment if they did not take the steps to get you to one of their own doctors. They could be responsible for up to $10,000 of medical treatment.
Can My Medical History Ever Be Used Against Me In A Workers’ Compensation Claim To Deny Or Limit My Benefits?
Your medical history could be used against you. Let’s say you had a prior back injury from a previous accident involving either a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim, or maybe you were just injured at home. If you’ve now injured your back again, that previous injury could be used to decrease the amount of compensation or permanent disability you get at the end of your case. It would not prevent you from receiving medical treatment or from receiving temporary disability benefits, as long as the doctor says that the work injury had at least one percent to do with your current condition.
With something like diabetes or hypertension, there is a potential that, even if you had it in the past, you could receive compensation for it in a workers’ compensation claim if you can show either the injury or something from the injury aggravated those conditions.
Really, the only time your medical history can be used to completely deny your injuries is if the doctor says that your injury could not have been caused by what you say happened at work; if you had a prior injury, then it would be a good chance that they would try to say that it was pretty much almost all from that prior injury.
Can Any Recorded Statements Ever Be Used Against Me In My Workers’ Compensation Claim To Limit Or Deny My Benefits?
If you give your permission for a claims adjuster or someone at your employer to record you and discuss your workers’ compensation claim, what happened, or what your injuries are, that can be used against you, even at a trial. I recommend that you never give a recorded statement because there are technicalities in some of the terms, and it won’t be a strong defense to say you misunderstood the person. If they’re trying to force you to give a recorded statement, then you should not hesitate to find an attorney because you are not required to give a recorded statement.
If I’m Able To Go Back To Work While My Workers’ Compensation Case Is Pending, Should I? Can This Be Used Against Me?
If a doctor gives you work restrictions and your employer is willing to offer you a modified position, you have to go back to work. You can return to your current job if they have a position, or if your current job doesn’t have one for you that accounts for your restrictions, you could go find a completely different job. As long as you’re working with those work restrictions, it will not hurt your case.
If the doctor says you cannot work but you do return to work, then that could hurt your case. It would make it look like you’re attempting to exaggerate your injuries and commit workers’ compensation fraud.
For more information on Workers’ Compensation Cases in California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (323) 991-5915 today.
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