Three Situations When A Person Collecting Workers' Compensation May Need An Attorney
If you have been collecting workers' compensation benefits, there may not seem like there is any need for an attorney; however, that can change quickly. One of the biggest issues with your benefits will relate directly to the workers' compensation doctor that you have seen, and in many situations, continue to see. The following are three situations that you may find yourself in.
The workers' compensation doctor approves you to go back to work
This can happen to you after only a short period of time, such as a few weeks. The doctor may claim you are good to go back to work, but you may still be experiencing pain, limited movement, or other medical problems. Often the issue is with a lack of tests. A workers' compensation doctor, although not directly employed by the insurance company, has been approved by the insurance company. Therefore, they have a tendency to be biased towards them. An expensive test, such as an MRI, may shed more light on your condition, but it may be not ordered by the doctor.
The workers' compensation doctor approves you for limited work
This can be frustrating because the doctor may give you clearance to go back to your job but only to perform limited or light work. The problem is that your employer may have a different interpretation of what light work means. You may end up required to do work that is beyond what you are physically capable of doing. An attorney can help you with this because most states have laws that require the doctor to inform your employer specifically what you can and cannot do.
The workers' compensation doctor recommends surgery
You have gone through physical therapy and followed all of your doctor's orders, but after all of this, your condition has not improved enough to work again. At this point, the doctor may recommend surgery. This situation is common with back problems, but you may be very concerned about surgery on your back. Back surgeries come with risks, and you may not want to take that risk. But if you don't, is your workers' compensation in jeopardy? It could be, especially if you say no. You need to speak to an attorney because there is both a medical aspect to this situation and a legal one. There are many issues such as the chances of success of the surgery as well as the risks. It may even be the case that the insurance company doesn't want to pay for the surgery and will settle your workers' compensation claim.
If you are collecting workers' compensation benefits and your doctor has said you can go back to work, whether in an unrestricted capacity or a limited one, but you have reservations, you should speak to an attorney. Likewise, if surgery is recommended, you should not say no but first speak to an attorney.
Contact a local workers' compensation lawyer to learn more.