In on the job injury cases one of the few benefits to injured workers is that, theoretically,
medical treatment arising from the original injury is covered for the lifetime of the injured
Many people think this is very important. It can be. The reality is that doctors who do
worker’s compensation get paid more and are encouraged to be conservative in their impairment
ratings and physical restrictions. Those doctors will have a worker’s compensation nurse auditing
the appointments and treatment. The fact is that worker’s compensation doctors used to be so bad
that several were banned from testifying in various courtrooms throughout the state.
About 20 years ago insurance companies began to hire better doctors who got better
results. We used to see doctors who were obviously lying and who could only claim that the
injured worker was faking or malingering. It still happens, but rarely.
What does happen is when the right to future medical treatment is left open, the insurance
companies make it difficult to schedule an appointment to access that treatment. If there is a new
injury such as a car accident or a fall, the right to medical treatment has ended. When the doctor
makes a finding that there have been arthritic changes in and around the area of injury, the
insurance company disputes the injury and the treatment. The problem that people have at that
point in time is that they don’t know how to obtain the necessary testimony from the doctor to
obtain the treatment they need and may not have the $2,500.00 that the doctor charges for that
Sometimes if people have a good employer with good insurance and they get continuing
treatment for pain, having open medicals can be invaluable. On the other hand, people often leave
the courtroom with a right that they can’t enforce and has no value. It sounds good, but any new
event will likely leave the doctor unable to specify to the court whether it was the original injury
or the new event. In those cases, the court might be unable to make a decision in the injured
worker’s favor. Remember that good personal injury lawyers don’t charge to discuss a case.
That’s a service you should use.
Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, your referrals are appreciated! 256-764-0112