How Neglecting Doctor’s Orders When Recovering from Injury Could Wreck Your Workers’ Comp Claim

One of the most common mistakes people make regarding their workers’ comp claims is failing to follow doctor’s orders. If you have concerns about your treatment plan when recovering from an injury, that’s one thing, but skipping your appointments or not following through on the physician’s orders could give the insurance cause to deny your claim. 

The Importance of Addressing Your Medical Condition 

If injured on the job, you’ll want to address your condition and seek proper medical care immediately. It’s a mistake to procrastinate or avoid the doctor either because you do not think the injury is serious or because you’re hoping your symptoms will go away. 

If the condition worsens and you find yourself in need of medical treatment, the insurance company may use your delayed response time to invalidate your claim. They may say that your condition is fabricated or the result of some other cause because you didn’t get treated immediately. 

Neglecting Doctor’s Orders Could Thwart Your Claim 

Simply put, if you don’t abide by the doctor’s orders when recovering from your injury, you give the insurance company a chance to say your injury isn’t real or isn’t as serious as you’re claiming it is. 

Insurance representatives can argue that because you’re not following through with your doctor, you must not really be hurting and therefore you shouldn’t receive any compensation. They can also argue that your condition worsened because you didn’t follow your doctor’s advice, and so the insurance company or employer shouldn’t be responsible for all the damages. 

Upholding Your Responsibilities During the Claim Process 

In order to avoid hurting your claim and giving the insurance company grounds to deny it, you’ll want to: 

  • attend all your scheduled doctor’s appointments;
  • reschedule appointments you won’t be able to make;
  • take all prescribed medications;
  • obey any activity restrictions the doctor recommends; and
  • attend any recommended physical therapy. 

If you have a legitimate concern or question regarding your treatment plan, by all means, discuss it with your physician. Workers can request an independent medical exam and may request a new doctor through their employers. 

If the employer doesn’t agree to alternate care, then the worker may go to the workers’ compensation commissioner. But don’t simply disregard your treatment without talking to your doctor, or it could cost you your case. 

Being Honest about Your Condition 

You’ll want to be honest about the extent of your injuries, neither over- or under-exaggerating them. Exaggerating your condition in an attempt to get a higher settlement is not only dishonest, but illegal. (It’s a form of fraud, and rest assured, you don’t want any piece of that.) 

Your best bet will be to handle your case with integrity, and tend to your condition in a timely manner. It’s also a good idea to compile all your medical records, doctor’s comments and prognoses, and keep an injury journal to share with your attorney. 

Seeking Compensation with a Work Injury Attorney 

For help with a work injury case in Des Moines, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair. We can provide you with the knowledge and representation you need to make sure your case is handled fairly and quickly. Call today for a FREE consultation: (515) 440-2852.

About Corey Walker

Corey Walker has received various awards for his work as an attorney, including a 10 out of 10 superb rating from Avvo and an exclusive membership into the top 100 trial lawyers with The National Trial Lawyers Organization. Corey believes in providing free and reliable resources to injured workers and their families regarding the workers' compensation process, and dedicates himself to protecting their rights to fair treatment and compensation for their injuries. Mr. Walker possesses a keen understanding of the delicate nature of work comp cases, and therefore, fights to ensure the futures of his clients are safeguarded from physical and financial distress.

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