Getting injured on the job will obviously take its physical toll on the hurt employee. But what many do not realize is that a work injury can also emotionally drain an employee. Often a work injury will force an employee to take time off from work to recover; during that time they may struggle with finances and hospital bills that need to be paid.
One thing that is especially difficult is collecting medical benefits from an insurance company to help pay for those medical bills. An injured worker has to see a physician who will determine the extent of their injury, how it affects their ability to work, and when they should be able to return to work.
This information is also used to determine workers' comp benefits. While doctors will be making sure an injury is being treated, they are also closely watching and recording how the employee's recovery is going.
Colorado is one of several states that have implemented guidelines to encourage physicians to keep a close watch on their patients' recovery. It can happen that in some cases an injured worker brings his or her doctor a form to complete for workers' compensation and the doctor does not return it on time or provide the necessary information.
When that happens, the injured worker can reap the consequences. If the employer receives inaccurate information about the injured worker's time off, the worker could lose their job if it's unclear that the time had been spent in recovery. The injured worker may also have a difficult time receiving workers' compensation for time they had to take off.
Ultimately if you suffer a work injury, you should be given enough time to fully recover and not have to worry about losing your job or wages as a result. You should be focusing on getting better and returning to work. The last thing on your mind should be whether or not your doctor remembered to fill your paperwork out correctly.
Source: American Medical News online, "Negotiate return-to-work issues with injured patient," Alan L. Engelberg, 22 November 2010