If you have been hurt at work and your employer sends you to a walk in clinic do not be surprised if after being examined for less than one minute you are told you are fine and sent back to work full duty. Only you can tell when you have been injured. If you think you have suffered an injury while at work, your workers’ compensation doctors are supposed to help you receive appropriate medical care and services.
The problem is that these initial providers, usually at a workers’ compensation walk in clinic, are not here to treat you, the injured worker, they are there to make the insurance companies that pay them happy. And that typically means telling you that your are not injured, that you do not need an MRI or X-Ray and that you can go back to work full duty.
We cannot tell you how many clients are injured, sent to a walk in clinic and told that they are fine and that they should stop complaining, only to learn in a few months after receiving alternative medical care that they suffered an injury resulting in intensive and prolonged medical care or surgery.
This is not to say that all primary care providers are working for the workers’ compensation insurance company, but in our experience, these facilities work on a volume basis; the more injured workers they see a day, the more they get paid. However, what typically occurs is that these medical providers are paid more on the initial visit than on subsequent visits. So, it can happen that these providers are financially incentivized to spend less time on follow up visits or listening to you report your injuries as they get worse without medical care.
You have the right to protect your workers’ compensation benefits. If you do not know how to do this, you should hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately. It is extremely important to speak with a dedicated work comp attorney prior to asking for new medical care, failing to treat or settling your case for less than what it is worth. If you feel that you are injured and your worker’s compensation doctor is not listening, you need someone to fight for you and get the medical care you deserve.