Employees are hurt every day while on-the-job. Almost anything can lead to an injury. Even sedentary office jobs result in work related injuries. There are numerous ways an individual can be injured at work such as repetitive-type injuries such as typing, welding, or lifting, and then there are incidences such as falls or equipment that malfunctions and causes injuries. Employees are also injured in vehicle accidents while working. When an employee is injured while on-the-job, they may be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Speak to an attorney to learn about the role of medical treatment in a Pascagoula workers’ compensation case.
Mississippi laws and federal workers’ compensation allow the individual to choose their physician, but so many times employees just go to the doctor directed by the insurance company. Individuals usually do not know their rights with regard to seeking out their own physicians. This is why it is best to seek help from our experienced legal team.
Unfortunately, injured workers often complain that their medical treatment is insufficient. Sometimes the physician may simply be out of options for treatment, and the individual is still suffering. Sometimes the injured worker is stuck with a treating physician that is simply not interested in exploring all available treatment or not specialized in the injured worker’s injured body part.
When an injured worker chooses their physician, they are almost always with that physician for the work-related injury to the end of treatment. However, there are cases where court intervention can get that individual to a different doctor to determine their condition and a better treatment plan. That can be time-consuming and also difficult to do in certain situations.
A medical-only claim is when the injured individual can regularly do their job. The employee may still go to work but have a lingering medical condition related to their employment. Those cases can be problematic for an employee if they do not file the appropriate pleadings. The forms that must be filed with the court are required to be filed within one year of the injury. The courts have construed this timeline to be very strict. Individuals will not know that they have to do this within such a strict timeline, which is unfortunate for the injured worker. There is nothing that can be done after the one year period of time.
Maximum medical improvement is a commonly misunderstood term. It does not mean that the injured individual is 100 percent better. It just means that the injured employee has reached their maximum capacity for this particular treatment at this particular time. Doctors have to make this finding, and lawyers and judges will generally fall in step with the date of the maximum medical improvement issued by the physician. However, there can be a discrepancy between two treating physicians as to what the date of maximum medical improvement is. The maximum medical improvement date also coincides with an impairment rating. A case cannot go to trial or get settled without the injured employee reaching maximum medical improvement.
The impairment rating means that the injured employee has a permanent impairment as a result of the on-the-job injury.
The options are simple if the injured worker has reached their maximum medical improvement but unable to return to work. The employer is required to continue to pay benefits at the two-thirds average weekly wage and medical benefits.
If you have been injured at work, it is best to seek help from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. A skilled attorney will help you determine which doctor will best help treat your injuries and get the benefits you need. Choosing the right health care provider is crucial in a workers’ compensation case, and an experienced attorney can help point an injured worker in the right direction. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about the role of medical treatment in a Pascagoula workers’ compensation case and how an attorney could help.