workers comp

If you get hurt at work, you are eligible for workers’ compensation.  Your employer’s workers compensation insurance should pay for your medical treatment.  However, they will only pay for your medical treatment if you go to a physician that they have authorized.  

Seeing a doctor is often the first step in getting diagnosed and properly treated for workplace injuries. Going to a doctor who hasn’t been approved makes it more difficult to process your claim and get your medical bills paid. 

Your employer’s workers compensation insurance is not obligated to pay for unauthorized medical treatment except in certain cases of emergency or where they have denied the claim.

Who is a Workers Comp Doctor?

These are approved doctors by the company and insurance provider that treat work-related injury. When  you are injured at work, you should ask your employer to go to a doctor and make sure that the doctor you are seeing is authorized by the workers compensation insurer.

What Is The Job Of A Workers Comp Doctor?

Diagnosing and treating workplace injuries

A workers comp doctor will start by asking questions about how the injury occurred when a worker first noticed symptoms, medical history, and other relevant questions that could have caused the illness or injury. 

Some work injuries happen from a traumatic incident like a fall.  Other work injuries happen from day to day work duties that cause symptoms over time.  Both types of injuries are compensable under workers compensation if they are caused by your work. 

Decide How Your Condition Impacts Your Ability to Work

There are cases where workers are not able to work or produce at the same rate as they did prior to an accident or injury. Your authorized physician may decide deciding whether a worker’s condition has made them partially disabled or fully disabled. The doctor may also decide if there is a need for temporary of permanent work restrictions. 

Provide a medical report to your employer

Throughout your treatment process, your treatment is documented in a medical report that is sent to your employer. This report is forwarded to the insurance provider, your attorney (if you hire one) and the medical providers you see for treatment. 

Your report is a summary of your illness or injury, what caused them, symptoms, and relevant medical history. 

Can I Choose My Compensation Doctor?

No. Iowa law dictates that your employer and their workers compensation insurer get to choose your doctor.  However, they are obligated to follow the doctor’s recommendation and are not allowed to interfere in your medical care. 

Additionally, after the treatment has concluded, you have the right to go to the doctor of your choice for an independent medical examination. 

When should I consult an attorney?

You should consult a workers compensation attorney:

  1. If your medical treatment is not provided in a timely manner; 
  2. If your employer or the insurer is ignoring your medical treatment;
  3. You have a conflict with the doctor that work comp is sending you to for care;
  4. Your employer is ignoring the restrictions from the doctor;
  5. The employer or insurance company is interfering with the doctor’s recommendations;
  6. The employer has denied your medical care.

Do you need a workers’ comp attorney? Contact Platt Law Firm, PC, at (515) 278-1522. We have the experience, knowledge and skill to help you protect your rights when the insurance company is not following the law regarding your medical care.  

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