In addition to reporting the injury, seeking medical care after the injury is perhaps one of the most important things to do at the beginning of workers’ compensation claim. Obtaining medical care creates documentation of the diagnosis and injury that was sustained. In many situations, the medical care provided just after the injury can help direct the injured worker to more specialized care or therapy if such treatment is deemed necessary. It is also the first opportunity for a medical expert to offer an opinion on whether there is cause and effect connection between the injury and the diagnosis.
At times, however, injured workers opt to “tough the injury out” and not seek care. Obviously, the decision whether to seek medical care is one that the injured worker must make. However, if there is any suspicion that the injury is related to employment, seeking medical care is an important first step in any claim.
Although injured workers generally have two years from the date of injury in which to file a claim, a lack of medical care over those two years will likely mean the injured worker will have difficulty proving the injury and the relationship to the employment. Seeking treatment after the injury not only ensures the injured worker is getting on the road to recovery, but it will also result in documentation necessary for proving a claim.