What NOT To Say to Your Workers’ Comp Doctor
Millions of workplace accidents happen each year, resulting in injuries and missed workdays. These can happen regardless of a person’s age, training, expertise, or overall industry experience. According to data from the National Safety Council, the top causes of occupational injuries that involve missed work days are exposure to harmful environments, overexertion, slips and falls, equipment accidents, and transportation incidents.
For these cases, being able to claim for workers’ compensation is a true blessing. Not only can workers’ comp cover your medical and rehabilitation costs; it can also reimburse wages for your lost work days. You just have to file your workers’ comp claim and get an official evaluation from your workers’ comp doctor to support the extent of your injuries and your claims.
However, saying the wrong thing during your evaluation with a workers’ comp doctor can potentially derail your reimbursement and compensation. Learn what not to say to workers’ comp doctors below to ensure stress-free processing of your claims.
Inaccuracies Regarding Past Injuries or Medical History
The most important thing not to say to a workers’ comp physician examining you is any inaccuracy about the extent of your injuries — both current and past ones. The doctor will be examining you closely and asking questions not just about your injuries but also your medical history, as this may affect your current condition and recovery.
As such, it is important to disclose all pertinent information about any prior injuries or pre-existing conditions you have. It is important to never hide old injuries, even if you worry that it might affect your current workers’ comp claims. Always be truthful about your medical details and stick to the facts about your current injury.
Lies About How the Injury or Accident Happened
Another thing you should never tell your doctor are lies about how the injury happened. This includes lies of omission by not disclosing important details about the accident. Even if certain information may make yourself look bad — such as forgetting to check some safety measures — there is no acceptable excuse to leave out or change such details when recounting what happened.
Medical exams for workers’ comp claims are more than just a way to check your condition. They are also an essential part of the investigation to ensure the veracity of your claims.
Doctors and insurance providers will most likely figure out whether you’ve been completely honest or forthcoming. If you are not, this will negatively affect your claims.
Exaggerations About Symptoms or Pain
It is also important to avoid exaggerating the levels of pain you feel or symptoms you may have. Not only can this potentially affect the diagnosis the doctor gives you, but it can also lead to improper prescriptions. Wrong medications can worsen your health and even put you at risk for drug misuse, dependence, or addiction.
Moreover, verbal assessments are not the only way doctors check your condition. They also use diagnostic imaging and other tests. These tests will give them the actual state of your body and symptoms or pain levels — and easily reveal your exaggerations and falsehoods.
Delays in Seeking Proper Treatment
Timely treatment is always crucial for one’s well-being and safety, it’s even more important after a workplace accident or injury that requires time off. Injuries can worsen during the time it takes between the incident and the medical treatment.
As such, waiting to see a doctor can potentially be seen as purposely delaying treatment in order to exacerbate your condition and claim more compensation. In Maryland, employees have 60 days to request or seek proper medical care through the workers’ comp system. Any longer than that can be suspicious; in some cases, even insurers or employers may still have their suspicions as long as the treatment is delayed.
In the same vein, you also shouldn’t mention missing doctor’s appointments or not following the doctor’s orders, whether it’s taking medications, resting, taking rehabilitation classes, or ending treatment prior to your full recovery.
Negative Things or Resentment Towards Your Employer
During your medical examination, make sure not to bad mouth or say anything remotely negative about your employer. Take note that everything you say during the medical assessment can potentially be included in the doctor’s report that goes back to your employer or insurer.
Voicing out your discontent or resentment — particularly about how your employer may have handled the incident — will not only paint you in a bad light but can also cause you problems at work.
Consult a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
Seeking workers’ compensation is rarely an easy or straightforward task. Insurance programs are well-known for being complex, and many insurers and employers are only looking out for themselves rather than the injured employees.
Reaching out to a trusted and experienced workers’ compensation attorney can make your overall experience much better. A workers’ comp lawyer canteach you more about what not to say to a workers’ comp doctor and even represent you should your claim be disputed.
Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.