Medical Treatments Attorney For Injured Workers
Ensuring California Employees Receive Coverage for Medical Care After a Workplace Accident
Invictus Law, P.C. has years of experience helping California workers injured on the job get the coverage they deserve for the medical procedures they need. We represent clients in Riverside and San Bernardino counties and all Orange County communities, including Orange, Irvine and Santa Ana. Our legal team fights on your behalf to ensure that your employer and their insurance provider do not leave you without essential medical treatment or force you into dire financial straits just to get the medical treatment you require.
Securing Medical Coverage After an Injury
There are a few important steps to take to ensure that your medical expenses are covered following a workplace injury. First and foremost, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. California employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for employees after a workplace accident, regardless of who was at fault. If you avoid reporting an accident because you are afraid of claiming responsibility, you may be left covering your own sizable medical bills. As long as the injury was not deliberate and you were not inappropriately intoxicated at work, you are guaranteed coverage. Failing to report an accident, injury, or illness within a certain time period can reduce or even eliminate your chance for workers’ compensation coverage.
Second, you should seek treatment as soon as possible after an injury, even if it seems minor. There is always the chance that you are more seriously injured than you realize, but the injury is not readily apparent. You may have a concussion, an as-yet-unidentified sprain or tear, or even internal bleeding. Early treatment will prevent you from exacerbating a latent injury or forestalling more serious problems and ensure that you recover faster. Moreover, prompt treatment will tie your injury to the workplace accident more concretely, leaving less room for your employer or their insurance provider to claim that your injuries were not related to a workplace accident.
Who Can Treat You?
If you were severely injured and need emergency treatment, you can and should go to any nearby emergency room for treatment. For further treatment or other non-emergency treatment, your options for treatment depend on a few factors. You may use your own personal physician if you notified your employer of your doctor prior to the injury. If you did not pre-designate a doctor, then you are generally required to go to an in-network doctor; your employer or the claims administrator will provide you with a list of physicians in the network.
Even without pre-designation, you may still use your own doctor if either (a) your employer failed to post required information about workers’ compensation rights and did not suggest treatment after learning of your injury; or (b) your employer or the claims administrator sends you for treatment that is insufficient or does not otherwise satisfy your medical needs.
What Treatments Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover all normal medical tests and treatments. Diagnostic studies, such as X-rays and MRIs, are typically covered as long as they are reasonably necessary for a doctor to evaluate your condition. Surgery, medication, and continued treatment such as prescription drugs and medical devices are all part of your recovery and should be covered by workers’ compensation. You will also be reimbursed for mileage for traveling to medical appointments.
California provides guidelines on the types of treatments that are appropriate for certain types of workplace injuries. According to California’s Department of Industrial Relations, doctors under workers’ compensation “must choose treatments scientifically proven to cure or relieve work-related injuries and illnesses.” Workers’ compensation generally covers western medicine and standard, medically-approved treatments.
Workers’ comp may not cover “alternative” medicine. Holistic or “natural” treatments such as acupuncture or naturopathic medicine may or may not be covered, nor will very experimental, untested, or unproven treatments likely be covered. California actually provides more protection than other states for some alternative forms of treatment, providing guidelines for when certain things like acupuncture will be covered. You are still free to pursue these alternative forms of treatment for your injury or illness, but you will likely have to pay out of pocket.
Additionally, there are limits on the total number of certain continuing medical treatments for which you will be covered. Currently, you are limited to a total of 24 chiropractic visits, 24 physical therapy visits, and 24 occupational therapy visits, unless the claims administrator authorizes additional treatment or you have recently had surgery and need post-surgical physical medicine.
Contact us now for your free initial consultation about your California workplace accident
Invictus Law, P.C. helps injured workers secure full and fair compensation for damages, including medical expenses, prosthetics, physical therapy, and any other associated expenses. Call us anytime at 949-287-5711 or use our online contact form to schedule a risk-free, complimentary consultation. We’ll help you secure proper treatment from covered medical professionals, collect the appropriate documentation, and build your case to maximize your coverage. Our firm does not require you to pay any up-front attorney’s fees and only charges a fee if we recover compensation for you.