How to Prepare for Your Workers’ Comp Case
If you’ve been injured at work and are trying to get your medical bills and time off paid by the workers’ comp insurance carrier, you’ll need to know how to prepare for your workers’ comp case. The tips listed below could make or break your case, depending on how you handle them.
Tell Doctor How Accident Happened
In preparing for your worker’s comp case, it is very important that you tell your doctor EXACTLY how your accident happened and how your injury occurred. Be prepared for what you plan to tell your doctor even before you step foot in the physician’s office. This is a CRITICAL point. Treat your preparation for your doctor’s appointment like you’re going to a job interview. (If you call the Ritchie Law Firm, we will help you outline and prepare for your doctor’s appointment).
Knowing what you will tell your doctor is so important, because the physician’s office will record your comments in their medical records. You will want to make sure that your comments are not only accurate but also are not taken out of context. It is important that you explain how your injury both arose out of and in the course of your employment. It is also crucial that you explain the mechanism of your injury so that the insurance carrier doesn’t think that it was caused by a repetitive motion injury.
Never Understate the Amount of Pain You Have
When you are preparing for your workers’ comp case, it’s important to remember that you should never understate the amount of pain you are experiencing to your doctor. Some people have a tendency to shrug injuries off and want their physicians to think they have a high pain tolerance. Don’t try to minimize real pain to make your doctor think you are tough. That will get you no where.
Instead, describe all actual pain you experience and let your doctor know when the pain occurs and which activities make it worse. Then, your physician can make an accurate recording of your pain level and exacerbating activities. Usually, a report to your doctor that you are 100% better is not going to be accurate, because you are likely to have flare-ups of your symptoms from time to time. But, such a report of 100% improvement may be fatal to preparing your workers’ comp case.
Give Your Doctor a Complete Job Description
It’s important for your doctor to have a complete and accurate job description of your work. If your job involves mostly sitting, but also a small percentage of standing, walking, lifting, etc., your doctor needs to know this information.
Most jobs do not have the same physical requirements every single day. In fact, many jobs vary in their required duties depending on the season or circumstances of the business. So, giving your doctor a thorough job description of all the work activities you perform is important for them to know whether you can return to work full-time or whether you need to be working light-duty. If you don’t tell your doctor all of your physical duties, you may end up in a situation where you return to work and are asked to complete tasks that are outside your physical restrictions.
Providing your doctor with a thorough job description will also give you the opportunity to discuss how certain activities affect your pain and discomfort level. With this information, your health care provider will be better equipped not only to treat your injuries, but also to ensure that you have the most appropriate work restrictions.
Your Workers’ Compensation Team
Our workers’ comp team at the Ritchie Law Firm is happy to sit down with you and talk with you to see if you have a claim that needs to have an attorney involved. It doesn’t cost anything to talk with us. If it’s possible to handle your claim on your own, we will give you the information to help you handle your claim. We have a wealth of information and resources available to us, and we’re always happy to share. Give us a call today at 800-277-6124 for your NO STRINGS ATTACHED conversation with our workers’ comp. lawyers. We handle Virginia Workers’ Compensation cases out of our offices in Harrisonburg, Winchester, Charlottesville, and Staunton, Va. Or, if you just want to test the waters first, get some more information by filling out the form below. We look forward to working with you.