Workers’ Compensation and Immediate Medical Needs
If you have sustained any type of injury or illness in your workplace, whether it is minor or extremely urgent, it is important to move forward quickly to obtain a medical evaluation and treatment. This is important not only for your recovery and health, but also for securing the maximum amount of workers’ comp benefits to which you are entitled under the law.
But what about a worker who needs medical attention right now? Who pays for the urgent, immediate medical care of an injured employee before that employee’s workers’ compensation has been approved?
Who the medical bills before workers’ comp claim decision is made?
Most of the time, if you require immediate medical attention after sustaining a workplace injury, your employer is required to pay for your medical expenses up to a certain amount until your workers’ compensation claim is accepted. Once it is accepted by your employer’s insurance company or the state provides notice that your claim is accepted or allowed, you will then gain potential eligibility for all remaining and available workers’ comp benefits. The factors affecting your entitlement to these benefits include your ability to return to work, the severity of your injuries, or other potential circumstances in your case.
If for some reason your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you can pay your medical expenses yourself and pursue reimbursement from the insurer if and when you appeal and the claim denial is overturned. Some doctors may be willing to provide you with medical care and treatment on a lien basis. This involves you receiving the medical treatment and care you need with payment for your bills made out of the recovery you will receive eventually through workers’ compensation. You may also be able to apply for temporary disability insurance as a short-term option to cover some of your out-of-pocket expenses.
Medical benefits start immediately
Immediately after you are insured and you file a workers’ compensation claim, all medical bills for your care and treatment related to your claim are likely to be paid by your employer, the insurance company of your employer, or the state if it is the insurer.
You also do not need to have filed a workers’ compensation claim before you are able to seek emergency medical treatment. If you suffered an injury on the job that requires immediate attention, inform your employer of the injury and seek medical attention immediately.
If you have received medical bills for the treatment you received related to your claim, but have not yet filed a workers’ comp claim, proceed immediately to file the claim. Then send a copy of these medical bills to either your employer or your employer’s insurance company for them to process and pay.
When you visit a hospital or other medical facility on an emergency basis after a workplace injury, inform them that you either have filed or are filing a claim for workers’ compensation. They can then send the bill directly to your employer or your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company.
When do non-medical benefits begin?
Temporary disability benefits represent compensation for time lost. Permanent disability benefits represent compensation for an individual’s loss of earning power. These benefits will not be available until your claim has been officially accepted. Even if your claim is accepted, you will not be able to receive these benefits until you are entitled to receive them. If and when your employer can show enough evidence that you no longer are entitled to temporary disability benefits, you will stop receiving them.
If you are facing hurdles obtaining the workers’ compensation you deserve for a workplace injury, our Nashville workers’ comp attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm can protect your rights and help you secure your benefits. To arrange a free consultation about your case, call our team today at 615.425.2500 or complete our contact form. We serve clients from our conveniently located offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Knoxville and in many cases, we can start your case right over the phone.