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Has the Insurance Doctor Said the Injury is Not Work-Related?

Too many workers compensation doctors would rather please the work comp insurance adjuster rather than provide you with good medical care.

Too many workers compensation doctors would rather please the work comp insurance adjuster rather than provide you with good medical care. Why? Because work comp insurance companies pay their doctors well, so the doctors want this business.  It’s a sad situation because many of these physicians are very good doctors, but if they upset the adjuster the business will go away.  On many occasions, injured Missouri workers have told me about the workers’ compensation doctor who doesn’t seem to care about them, makes them wait hours for an appointment, and quickly releases your from care with the excuse that your pain is caused by a degenerative condition or arthritic changes which are not work-related.

You cannot control what Dr. No will put in his records.  You won’t know whether your conversation with Dr. No is reported accurately in his records until the records are finally obtained from his office weeks or months later.  But you can give Dr. No a note every visit: “to confirm, my shoulder pain started at work swinging a sledgehammer every day for the past 5 months.  I have never hurt my shoulder outside of work.”  Or, “Dr. No: I do not get paid from work while I am out for a doctor appointment.  I have to wait 2 to 3 hours in your lobby past my appointment time.  If you are too busy, please refer me to a different physician.”  Give these notes to your attorney who will show these to the Judge.

Dr. No frequently releases workers compensation patients with the excuse that X-rays showed degenerative changes and, therefore, no work comp injury occurred.  Write a note: “Dr. No: you told me today that I did not suffer a back injury but only aggravated degenerative changes in my back which is not a work comp injury.  I have never had back pain outside of work.  My back is sore from lifting boxes every day.  Has lifting boxes for the past 3 years worn out my back and caused the degenerative changes? Has lifting boxes made the degenerative changes worse and also caused the degenerative changes to become symptomatic?  This is a workers compensation claim because all of my back pain is due to lifting boxes at work.”  Keep a copy and give it to your attorney so he can pursue medical treatment.

Hard work over time causes damage to your back, knees, shoulders, elbows, hands and other joints. 

Many work doctors will say the damage is a degenerative condition caused by natural aging and, therefore, no work-related injury was found.  This is not true.  We are all degenerating until we die.  But, the degeneration occurs slowly over time.  It is common for a 50-year-old person to not even know that he has a degenerative back condition: he worked for years without pain; without limitations; without restrictions.  No doctor has ever said that he has a degenerative back because he never had any back complaints.  But then the back pain starts at work.  Slowly but surely your back gets worse at work unloading trucks each day.  You hold off on seeing the doctor because you pray the pain goes away.  You report the pain and them go to the work comp doctor who says you have a degenerative back condition; nothing work related.  This is when you have to get tough and tell the doctor about your work; that you have never hurt your back outside of work; that all of your pain started at work while unloading boxes.  Put it in writing and give a note to the doctor.  Granted, work may not have caused all of the degeneration, but if work caused the degenerative condition to be painful and you need treatment because of the pain, workers compensation is responsible!

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Our legal team has a strong history of helping injured workers get the medical attention and financial compensation that they need. Contact our St. Louis, Missouri workers compensation law firm to ensure that your rights are protected. Please call (314) 361-4300. All communications are returned promptly.

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