If your workers compensation claim has been denied, you probably had an “independent medical examination.” This is an appointment with a doctor paid for by the workers compensation insurance company.
Even if you are still in a lot of pain and still healing from your injury, very often the independent medical exam doctor will say you are able to return to work that same day without any work restrictions in place.
When this happens, the workers compensation insurance company may tell you to return to work immediately without restrictions. They may even tell you to go back to your own doctor and have your doctor release you to work without restrictions. This is not true.
1. Trust Your Own Doctor’s Opinion
If you still have work restrictions in place from your own doctor, these restrictions are still valid. Moreover, your doctor has no obligation to agree with the independent medical exam doctor. If your doctor does not feel you are able to return to work, or that work restrictions are still required, your doctor is not required to release you to work without restrictions.
2. Communicate With Your Employer
What you DO need to do is keep your employer up-to-date on your work restrictions. If your employer contacts you, you should inform them of your restrictions, and inform your employer you still plan on returning to work, but that it is unclear when you will be ready to return.
3. Keep in Touch with Your Doctor
Make sure to continue seeing your doctor regularly. If the work restrictions you have in place are set to expire, contact your doctor’s office to get updated restrictions. If needed, go in for a visit.
You May Have Legal and Financial Options Available Despite Your Workers Compensation Denial
The denial of your workers compensation claim may mean a tough road ahead, especially if you suffered a serious injury. Having your claim denied means workers compensation benefits will stop being paid. If you are still unable to return to work, this may mean you will not have any income for some time. Depending on your situation, you may have other options for insurance benefits including unemployment, short and long term disability, or Social Security disability.
The workers compensation attorneys at Hawks Quindel have decades of experience representing injured employees in these tough situations. If your workers compensation claim has been denied, please contact us for a free consultation.
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