Workers Compensation: Know Your Legal Right - Be Treated by Your Own Doctor

If you are injured at work, it is important you seek medical treatment as soon as possible in order to determine the nature and extent of your injuries. Don't delay! If you require emergency medical assistance, tell your supervisor, then go to the nearest emergency room or your own primary care physician.

Make sure you tell every doctor you see how the work accident occurred and report all symptoms - no matter how insignificant they may seem. If you delay treatment, your employer and their worker's compensation insurance company can use that delay against you and even deny your injury claim. Bottom line: if you are injured at work, the sooner you report the injury and seek medical attention, the better.

Rule #50 of the Nebraska Workers Compensation Court establishes that it is your right to "choose a family physician as the primary treating physician" for a work injury. http://www.wcc.ne.gov/publications/rules.pdf

This rule requires the non-emergency primary care doctor you choose to have seen you or an immediate family member at least once before your work accident. If you have no family doctor, the employer may assert a right to select your work injury doctor in cases where you have no family physician of record.

Employers and insurers know doctor choice is important, which is why they often try to steer their injured workers towards doctor's known to be friendly towards employers/insurers. Employees are often told they have to go see a doctor who their employer wants them to see and that they can't go see their own doctor.

NEVER, NEVER waive or give up your legal right to be evaluated and treated by your own family doctor after a work injury.

If you are having problems related to a work injury contact Rich Hitz. Initial telephone calls and consultations are always free.

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