When you get hurt on the job, the last thing you may think to be worried about is not being treated fairly. Let’s face it, your number one concern is getting the treatment you need as quickly as possible with the least amount of hassle from your boss and your co-workers. However, although some employers and insurance companies take good care of injured employees, there are many who do not. It is important to educate yourself on how to protect yourself from being mistreated by your employer or their insurance company in the event that you are hurt on the job.
You’re the one who is hurt; don’t let your employer or insurance company call all the shots. With that in mind, here’s a quick cheat sheet on a few of the things you need to know if you’ve been hurt on the job:
1. JUST. SAY. NO.
No matter what your boss or human resources department may tell you, you absolutely do not have to receive your first treatment with the local occupational medicine clinic or facility. This is a big source of confusion when you’re hurt because nine times out of ten, your boss will tell you to go straight to the occupational clinic to obtain a drug test and first care. Although a drug test is required, it is not necessary that you treat with the occupational clinic. Unfortunately, if you do allow your employer to dictate that first treatment, you have already used your first “choice” of a doctor without even making your own choice. So just say “no” to treatment with an occupational clinic.
2. DOCUMENT YOUR TRAVEL
Many insurance companies gloss over the “mileage” aspect of a workers’ compensation claim. When you are injured on the job, the insurance company is responsible for paying you back for every mile you travel for doctors’ visits, physical therapy appointments, and trips to the pharmacy. It may not be a lot, but every bit helps when you’re out of work.
3. KEEP YOUR MEDICAL PRIVATE
Although your insurance company is entitled to obtain records from your treating doctors, they are not allowed to force you to have someone else sit in on your doctor visits, nor should they speak to your doctor without your permission. If you do not want your doctor to speak to the insurance company without you present, then you should tell your doctor that. If the insurance company tries to force you to have what is called a “nurse case manager,” remember that they can only do that with your permission.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re hurt on the job. Don’t let your employer or insurance company bully you around. If you don’t think you are being treated fairly after your work injury, don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 478-238-6600.