Healing from a workplace injury can feel like a full-time job. After your initial treatment, you still have to go to physical therapy, attend follow-up appointments, get diagnostic scans, and track your recovery. All of this can drive up your medical costs and keep you out of work longer, which is why many people wonder if they really have to follow their doctor’s orders after an injury.
Find out why it is crucial to adhere to your doctor’s instructions after a workplace injury. To discuss your claim with our team of attorneys, call Thiry & Caddell at 251-478-8880.
Proving the Extent of Your Injury
First, going to all of your doctor’s appointments and sticking to their care instructions provides evidence supporting your injury claim. If you don’t get the recommended care, workers’ compensation insurance only has your word to go on. The more evidence you have from your care provider, the easier it is to prove the severity of your injury and the level of care you’ll need moving forward.
Ensuring That Workers’ Compensation Continues to Pay
Workers’ compensation insurance has strict requirements for recipients. If you go back to work before you’re cleared, start skipping appointments, or try to seek medical care outside of your list of approved providers, they will stop paying.
While you are away from work, attending your doctor’s appointments and following their care instructions should be your top priority. If there’s an appointment you truly cannot make, call and reschedule before the appointment so you don’t have a missed appointment on your record.
This also includes at-home care. If physical therapy is part of your treatment plan, you’ll likely be prescribed exercises to do at home. It’s tempting to skip these at the end of a long day, when you’re likely in pain and tired. However, your physical therapist will be able to tell whether or not you’ve been keeping up with your daily exercises. If you don’t, you can expect workers’ compensation to find out about it.
Maintaining Your Credibility
The workers’ compensation insurance provider is all about saving money. This means looking for discrepancies in an injured worker’s story and using those discrepancies to halt payments. If you attend all of your appointments one month and then skip two the following month, you’ll look inconsistent and unreliable.
This may give them grounds to question your credibility and the truth of your injury report. Whether this is fair or not, it is how insurance companies work and you have to stay one step ahead of them. Following your doctor’s orders, being honest about your injury and progress, and providing all requested information to your insurance company can help you maintain your credibility.
Giving Yourself a Fair Shot at a Full Recovery
Beyond the benefits to your workers’ compensation case, following your doctor’s orders is simply good for your health. A workplace injury can derail your physical health goals, keep you from meeting your financial obligations, and lessen your quality of life. If you want to get back to normal as soon as possible, it just makes sense to do what your doctor says.
This is true even if your doctor’s pace seems to be slower than what you would like. Workers’ compensation doesn’t pay your full wages, so it makes sense that injured workers are in a hurry to get back to work and get their full pay. However, rushing your recovery and ignoring your doctor’s instructions can actually damage your recovery and keep you out of work longer.
If your health is your priority—and it should be—listen to your doctor. In this case, doing what is best for your health also means doing what is best for your workers’ compensation case.
Even if you follow your doctor’s instructions, it is possible that your workers’ compensation insurance provider will still give you trouble about paying your missed wages and medical bills. If this occurs, it’s important to reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights.
Turn to Thiry & Caddell for Help with Your Workplace Injury