You’ve probably been told to always be open, honest, and truthful with your doctors. This advice remains true even when dealing with a work-related injury. But it is also true that there are certain things you should avoid saying to a workers’ comp doctor. Remember that the worker’s comp doctor differs from your regular or treating physician. Your employer’s insurance carrier hires the workers’ comp doctor to evaluate the nature and extent of your injury. This article will provide five tips on what not to say to a workers’ comp doctor.
Purpose of Workers’ Comp Doctors
Before diving into specific tips, it is essential to understand the purpose of a workers’ comp doctor. The primary purpose of a workers’ comp doctor is to evaluate your injury and determine how it might affect your ability to perform your job tasks. They also verify the accuracy of your claim. In other words, they ensure you suffered an injury instead of trying to defraud the system.
The doctor will then communicate in writing their findings with the insurance carrier. You want to make sure that the insurer receives accurate and beneficial information about your claim.
What Not to Say to a Workers’ Comp Doctor
When you see a workers’ compensation doctor, you will be asked many questions necessary to evaluate your claim. However, there are certain things you should avoid saying to the workers’ compensation doctor.
Do Not Lie About the Accident
You should always be truthful and transparent when speaking with a workers’ compensation doctor when describing what took place. While it might be tempting to omit, fabricate, or exaggerate details that may be helpful to your claim, it is never a wise idea.
Remember, these doctors see workers’ compensation claimants daily. They are familiar with what injuries typically occur as a result of specific types of accidents. To use an extreme example, if you try to claim you were burned due to your slip and fall, it is likely to raise red flags to the physician.
Do Not Omit Prior Injuries
It is possible you suffered prior injuries similar to or to the same body part as you are currently injured. Whether prior injuries were work-related, you must disclose this information to the doctor. Do not try to hide it or omit to tell them. Having a prior injury does not prevent you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes, the insurance carrier will initially deny claims with previous injuries, but a skilled and experienced workers’ comp attorney will advocate your necessity for benefits now.
Do Not Exaggerate the Injury
It almost goes without saying, but you should never exaggerate or lie about your injury. Always be truthful about what you are experiencing, your pain level, your limitations, and other aspects of your injury. You want to be honest so that you receive the proper treatment and care. But these doctors see thousands of patients a year, and they can easily spot a lie if the symptoms and injury are not aligning. If they draw this conclusion, it can negatively impact your case and your ability to receive benefits.
Do Not Discuss Fault, Settlement, or Anything Regarding Your Case
Remember, the insurance carrier hires this doctor. Never discuss settlement, your case, or who you believe may be at fault for the accident. The doctor is there to evaluate your injuries and how they may impact your ability to perform your job duties. It is not the doctor’s job to assess the legal aspects of your claim. Who was at fault has no bearing on their assessment, and it is best to leave your opinion or conclusions as to the cause of the accident for a later date with the appropriate parties. This point is especially true if your employer is a non-subscriber to workers’ comp.
Do Not Speak Negatively About your Employer
You should not speak negatively about your employer or the insurance carrier. The doctor can include comments regarding your overall attitude and feelings toward your employer in their report, which may negatively impact your case later or, at the very least, make negotiating a bit more complicated.
Texas Lawyers Here for You
With over 30 years of experience representing thousands of Texans in complex legal matters, the workers’ comp lawyers at Grossman Law Offices stand ready to help you. We understand how difficult it can be to deal with a work injury and wonder what the future holds for your job, family, and personal well-being. Call us first if you are being referred to a workers’ compensation doctor. Let us help ensure your success. We offer free consultations at your convenience.