Having been hurt in a serious North Carolina work accident your medical treatment should be taken care of by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
What could go wrong with the workers’ compensation medical coverage?
If your physician recommends some expensive treatment, such as a physical therapy over several months, or costly tests such as MRIs, it may happen that the insurance company refuses to pay for those medical remedies.
In the course of your treatment, the insurance company will send a nurse consultant to many of your medical or rehabilitation appointments. Formally, this person’s job is to help direct and coordinate your medical treatment in order to bring you back to work in a healthy condition in the shortest period of time. In reality, the nurse consultant often follows strict instructions from the insurance carrier to limit medical expenses as much as possible.
Expensive surgery that would offer a long term solution to your affliction, or expensive tests to find out the real source of your pain would then be discarded in favor of short term “band-aid” solutions that, in many cases, only postpone the problem. Some consultants are under pressure to declare the patient fit to return to work before they are ready.
The insurance carrier’s worry is to have you off their books as soon as possible.
How can you prevent manipulation of your treatment by the insurance carrier?
The law places limits to the nurse consultant’s ability to communicate with your doctor about your treatment without your prior consent or the consent of your attorney.
You also have the right to a private examination with a doctor. If, after the examination, the nurse consultant wants to talk to the doctor, the law gives you the opportunity to attend the meeting with that doctor.
Any attempt by the nurse consultant to influence your doctor to change the treatment, or any disregard of the rules of communication could lead to the nurse consultant being removed from the case by the Industrial Commission.
If you have suffered a work accident, call Joe Miller Law in Elizabeth City locally 757-455-8889 or toll-free 888-694-1671 or send us an e-mail for a FREE, no commitment discussion of your case. Attorney Joseph Miller, Esq has been representing injured North Carolina workers for over 20 years.