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Carter Corriston, Jr.
Carter Corriston, Jr.
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Empoyee's Right to Treatment for Injuries

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Workers who are injured while working must report the injury to their employer, as soon as practical, and follow the employer’s directions for treatment, this includes the physicians who are authorized to treat the worker. This usually means the directions of the employer’s insurance carrier but not always. Some employers, like hospitals, may direct the treatment on their own. An employee may not seek their own medical care and if they do will be responsible for any bills incurred for this unauthorized treatment. As with any rule there are some exceptions.

If the employer denies the employee suffered an injury or that the injury was not work related the employee may seek treatment on their own without penalty. If the worker later proves there was an injury and that it occurred at work the worker may seek repayment of the medical bills, plus a potential 25% penalty paid to the employee and attorneys fees all because of the employers failure to act properly. The worker’s private health carrier may also seek reimbursement for any medical they may have paid because of such an injury. Additionally, an employer will be responsible for the bills incurred if an emergency exists. This most commonly applies to two situations. First, when the initial injury results in an emergency like a severe fall or car accident. Second, when during approved treatment an injury worsens to such degree that an emergency situation arises. For example a person has a back injury and they suddenly experience loss of use of a limb or severe numbness. Once the emergency no longer exists the employer will be entitled to regain control of the treatment. A worker should consult an attorney who specializes in the field of workers compensation if they have difficulty receiving treatment to make certain their rights are being protected.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Worksite Injuries and Workers Compensation.