When a workplace injury has sidelined you, you will need to take swift action to protect your ability to gain workers' compensation benefits. Your doctor-patient relationship will take on an enhanced level of interest during the time after your injury so it pays to know what to expect from this important source of support. Read on to learn more about dealing with your workers' comp doctor.
Understanding the Importance of Communication
You might already understand the need to let your usual doctor in on your symptoms and state of health. Doctors cannot rely entirely on diagnostic tests and your vital signs to fully understand your condition. When it comes to your workers' compensation doctor, the need to explain things is even more important. Your workers' comp doctor is in a unique position to both understand and treat your injury and to evaluate your ability to return to work. To help make sure that you don't leave your workers' compensation doctor guessing about your condition, take these steps.
1. Be accurate – It can be difficult to properly convey your pain and discomfort levels to a medical professional. You have probably experienced the pain level from 1-10 charts, which is an attempt to accurately rate your condition. You must be able to communicate about your condition without exaggerating or holding back. If you go overboard with your complaints, the doctor might suspect you of faking or malingering. If you fail to explain your problem adequately, you risk being told to return to work before you are ready.
2. Be complete – You shouldn't try to edit or filter your medical condition, even if you suspect that a symptom has nothing to do with the workplace accident. Leave the evaluation of your condition to your doctor and let them know the complete picture.
3. Be patient – Only your workers' comp doctor is qualified to determine whether or not you can return to your job. Most physicians take a conservative approach to injuries to ensure that you don't do too much and make your condition worse.
4. Be proactive – On the other hand, if your doctor questions you about your condition, be sure to let them know how you feel about returning to work. If you indicate a willingness to return to work, be sure that you do not feel rushed. You can make injuries worse by returning too soon and you might have problems having your workers' comp claim reinstated once you do so.
Another way to be proactive is to contact a workers' comp attorney at the first sign of problems. For example, if you asked to return to work too soon, speak to an attorney or click here for more info.