If you are injured at work, your workers’ compensation doctor will have a very big impact on your workers’ compensation claim. Your doctor will greatly influence:
- What kind of treatment you should receive.
- How long you should be off of work.
- How your injury will affect you for years down the road.
Now, remember that the doctor has two interests in mind: the patient and the insurance company. As an injured worker and patient, you are, first and foremost, looking for the right treatment that will get you as healthy as possible. The insurance company might want treatment for you too, but may prefer more conservative options. The insurance company may also want you to get back to work before you are ready.
How you approach your visit(s) with the doctor is critical. The information you share will impact his/her opinion and important decisions regarding your treatment. Here are two points to follow:
- Don’t Lie
This should go without saying, but don’t lie about previous injuries. Don’t lie about pre-existing medical conditions or treatments.
- Don’t Exaggerate
Along those same lines, do not exaggerate or play down your symptoms. Be honest about the level of pain that you are experiencing and at what level you are functioning.
Besides being the “right” thing to do, why is it important not to lie or exaggerate to the doctor? Well, if a doctor can’t trust what you’re saying, it is much more difficult for him/her to give you the proper care. In addition, your medical records show your full history, so if you downplay past injuries and your records say otherwise, you look untrustworthy.
If there is a dispute decided by a workers’ compensation arbitrator, he/she will consider your credibility. An arbitrator will be less likely to side with you if your medical records show that you’ve lied about the extent of your injury.
Anxious about what to say to your doctor? Don’t risk medical treatment being denied. Give us a call at 312-346-5578. All calls are free and confidential, and you can speak with a licensed attorney who can help you.