Finding Coverage After an On-the-Job Injury
When you’re hurt at work, you need proper medical care to treat your injuries and ensure there are no further complications. But when you have to see a doctor who is covered by your company’s workers’ compensation requirements, it is sometimes difficult to find convenient, quality care, workers’ compensation lawyers in Denver say, which is in direct violation of your rights as an injured employee.
Finding a workers’ compensation doctor is a more complex process than changing primary care physicians because of all the outside insurance regulations that will need to be met by the new doctor. In most cases, your regular doctor will not even be covered for a visit to assess or treat an injury that is considered for workers’ compensation claims.
Additionally, once you have found a new doctor that is covered under the compensation insurance, you may feel that you have not been properly treated or that your injuries have not been fully healed under that doctor’s care. If you are still bothered by your on-the-job injury and you need to change doctors, Denver workers’ compensation lawyers can advise you of your legal rights and options.
According to Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws, all employees who have been injured on the job are entitled to quality medical care and full treatment services at no cost to them. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, or the employer himself, should cover all doctor’s bills and fees associated with an on-the-job injury’s treatment, including follow-up visits, consultations and surgery, if necessary.
Workers’ compensation injuries—and most others—are typically considered healed once a doctor feels the patient has reached his or her maximum medical improvement (MMI). Once this happens, the doctor stops administering new treatments or medicines to cure the injury and instead shifts the focus to managing the long-term effects by determining what to do if the injury never fully heals, or restoring the patient to good health overall. After an MMI has been determined, the doctor will report any permanent disabilities to the insurance carrier who will then file a Final Admission of Liability.
If your doctor has deemed you to be at your MMI and you have received a Final Admission of Liability, but you are still feeling pain or having trouble with your on-the-job injury, you may need a closer look from another physician to determine whether you’re receiving the proper care. You have 30 days to explore options if you do not agree with the final assessment you’ve received.
Division Independent Medical Examination (DIME)
Colorado’s Workers’ Compensation Rules of Procedure allow employees who have suffered at-work injuries to file a disagreement with the insurance and doctor’s determinations. Workers can request a Division Independent Medical Examination (DIME), and the Division will issue a list of three doctors. The choices will be narrowed by the insurance carrier and the injured employee and the remaining physician will perform another medical examination and provide a second opinion to the Division.
If treated improperly, your on-the-job injury could cause you lasting complications and health issues. The importance of a workers’ compensation doctor who will properly treat you cannot be stressed enough, and at Levine Law, we want to ensure that you receive the care you need. To discuss your case, contact Denver workers’ compensation attorney Jordan Levine today.