Workers’ Comp Injuries – What to Do When Visiting the Doctor
The most common workers’ comp injuries in Florida according to the Division of Workers’ Compensation 2015 Results & Accomplishments Report, are:
- Upper Extremity Injuries (shoulders, arms, hands);
- Lower Extremity Injuries (legs, knees, feet); and
- Back injuries.
The report was prepared by the Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater of the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Many times these work injuries are many times caused by a strain/sprain, a slip and fall, or some other work accident. Regardless of what caused the injury there are some very important steps I recommend you take when and after you see your workers’ compensation doctor for treatment.
When you see the doctor
Give the doctor a full, detailed, and complete description of the accident. Make sure he knows how you were injured. If you happened to take any photos of the accident scene, show your doctor.
Make sure to honestly answer all questions the doctor might have about any past or current medical conditions or injuries. Make sure you do the same on any intake forms you fill out when you first arrive at the doctors office.
Discuss with the doctor how your injury is related to your work. Find out from the doctor if you can work or not given your injuries. If you are released to work but cannot return to your same job, you should get instructions from the doctor on what work you can and cannot do. This form is called a DWC-25 form and the doctor should provide it.
It is very important you keep a copy of this form and information the doctor’s office gives you when you leave. You will need to make several copies of this form. A copy each for:
- Your employer
- The workers’ compensation insurance company involved in your claim
- Your attorney if you seek representation.
I recommend you keep and attend all appointments with your doctor. If you do not your benefits may can be suspended your workers’ compensation insurance company.
After seeing the doctor for workers’ comp injuries
Speak with your employer as soon as you leave the doctor. Explain to them what work the doctor said you can and cannot do. Provide them a copy of the two page DWC-25 form the doctor’s office. Ask your employer if they have work available for you within your restrictions, and if so, ask when you should report for work. If they do not have work available, make sure your employer knows how to contact you in case they have work you can do come available.
You should continue to stay in contact with your employer throughout the treatment and recovery of your workers’ comp injury. You should also stay in contact with the workers’ compensation insurance company. This way you can make sure that your medical and money benefits are appropriately and timely addressed.
During a time of recovery, this process can be complex and overwhelming for the injured worker. At Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A. we have successfully represented hundreds of workers’ compensation cases in North Florida. If I may assist you with guiding you through the process and being your voice with your workers’ compensation insurance company, please do not hesitate to call on me.
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