As workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida, we hear horror stories on a regular basis from injured workers who relate tale after tale of mind blowingly bad work comp doctors.
Unfortunately, work injury compensation lawyers cannot select the doctors. That is something that the insurance companies get to do. However, our experienced work injury lawyers have had dealings with many of the doctors who take workers’ compensation insurance. Based on our past dealing with these medical providers, we help advise our client how to deal with certain doctors who may not have the best reputations for medical services or are known to have the work comp carrier’s interests at heart rather than yours.
We could not image anything worse than being made to wait weeks or months to see a doctor after being injured at work only to have them stick their head into the room for two minutes, look you up and down without even giving a full examination and tell you there is nothing wrong, nothing to do and send you back to work.
This happens all the time. As work injury compensation lawyers, we hear how walk-in-clinic doctors, commonly referred to as docs-in-a-box, will send injured workers to physical therapy before getting an x-ray or MRI or simply telling an injured worker they are fine when six months down the road they are getting surgery that they should have had immediately after the accident.
We have seen how some work comp doctors tell patients that they are fat and need to lose weight and all their problems will go away rather than recommend weight loss or therapy programs designed to help the injured worker lose weight and then see if that resolved the problem or if something more nefarious is going on.
Even worse, one client told us how his workers’ compensation doctor told him he was going to fill out a report saying the need for surgery was not related to the fall he had at work. However, this doctor also told the injured worker that he should settle his case, buy health insurance on the open market and then come back and the doctor would do the surgery under private health insurance.
These stories are just a few of the horrible tales we hear from injured workers. Knowing your workers’ compensation doctor’s reputation, as to their medical ability and their allegiance to the insurance company, can greatly assist an injured worker in obtaining the most medical care as possible.
How can you know who these doctors are and who they are really trying to help? That’s our job. As workers’ compensation attorneys, we make sure you know what you are walking into. It is important to know if you have an open minded physician or a doctor who only sees work comp patients as an income generator for the practice.
It is always better to know who you are dealing with so that you can maximize your time with the doctor to obtain the most treatment you can before moving on. Sometimes that means settlement of your case. Sometimes that means obtaining a referral to another doctor to take over your care. Another way to get a new doctor is by requested a change, but you only get one, and knowing when to use that change is extremely important.
The best way to ensure that you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled to under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation law is to seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible after being injured at work.