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Why should you follow a doctor’s orders after a workplace injury?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

You can usually claim against your employer’s workers’ compensation policy if injured at work. To do so, you will need to visit a doctor to get a record of your injuries and a prognosis for recovery.

Sometimes the doctors may give orders that are more restrictive than you would like. Yet, if you do not follow them to the letter, you could put your compensation at risk.

Insurers base your compensation on what the doctor says

Essentially, your workers’ compensation doctor has a great deal of control over when you return to work and what you can do once you get there — but you can throw your doctor’s credibility (and your own) into question by not following their guidance.

Let’s say an insurer thinks a doctor has been over-cautious in saying you cannot return to your job for two months due to a back injury. They think you would be able to return sooner if your employer alters your role to take out the elements of heavy lifting.

Your doctor has written that all lifting is off the table for the next two months. So you should not try to do anything that could be construed as lifting, because the insurer might then decide that’s “evidence” that you aren’t as seriously injured as you say. Many of the insurers use private detectives to follow people around and check for them doing more than the doctor said they should.

One telephoto lens photo of you carrying the shopping bags from the car may be enough to jeopardize your claim. Insurers may also scour your social media for photos that suggest your injury is not as bad as the doctor thought.

Workers’ compensation claims can be challenging, so consider legal help to learn more about the pitfalls to avoid.