What I have learned
1. Understand that workers compensation is governed by a commission not a court. As such laws and precedence are not as quickly evolving as a court. It is also 100 years old and reflects it's age.
2. LEARN what the laws that govern work comp in your state are!!! Many libraries have a law section and librarians usually love to help you learn! Even if you get a lawyer you need to know the basics.
3. Know there will be at least four parties involved in your case. You, your employer, the work comp insurance co. and at least one doctor. Each party will have a different interest. Even if you have a lawyer their interest will be in the case and protecting the interest of that case. IMO a lawyer is a must if your injury is serious.
4. DO NOT let the nurse/case manger that works for the insurance co. be present in the room when you see the doctor. Everything she/he needs to know will be available to them in the doctors report. They are only there to manage costs, they do not care if you get the health care you deserve!!!
5. Pick or use doctors you know! If you do not know them get referrals from people you know and trust. If you don't get the chance to pick do not let a doctor minimize your concerns. It is the doctors responsibility to explain each symptom you have. They are required to explain it in terms you can understand. It is perfectly acceptable to disagree. BE CIVIL if you do disagree!
6. Get a copy of every doctors visit and review them. The doctor is required to make you a copy for free. There maybe a small admin fee for this but it is usually very small. Do not accept any errors, you can demand that they be corrected. Be sure to get copies of all imaging and the associated report for that imaging.
7. KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH SHUT. Blabbering about what you think is going on with you or what you have learned can really muck things up. Business managers have developed strategies for dealing with work comp injuries and a company that really has the employees interest at heart is as rare as hens teeth. Most companies are only concerned about the bottom line and a high cost injury is just another cost to be managed.
8. Last but not least, be honest, direct and civil. Being difficult, rude and disrespectful WILL NOT be helpful to your case. Be reasonable work comp will not make you rich. It will only cover your wages and any health issues that are documented and identified by the doctor. Lie about what your issues are and chances are the doctor, ins. co. or your employer will find out. When that happens your case in the 100 year old system will go south on you so fast...
9. Keep your records and document everything even phone calls with your own lawyer.
49, Male Married, PCS since June 2012, headaches, Back pain, neck pain, attention deficit, concentration deficit, processing speed deficit, verbal memory deficit, PTSD, fatigue, tinutitus, tremors.
To see the divine in the moment.