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Hurt on the job? No matter how minor, a simple accident can turn into a major injury. To avoid an injury leading to an overwhelming amount of medical bills and expenses, take action immediately to receive workers’ compensation.

Attorney Austin Kennady of the Bryant Law Center recommends taking these steps initially after an accident to seek worker’s compensation:

  1. Immediately report the injury to your company’s supervisor
  2. Request to see a doctor
  3. Fill out a workers’ compensation claim form

“A worker is eligible for workers’ compensation claim if the accident occurred in the workplace and is reasonable and necessary,” says Attorney Austin Kennady.

Even if the accident appears to be minor, it is important to complete a workers’ compensation claim form immediately after an accident. Do not wait until the injury or pain worsens. Until the injury is reported with a workers’ compensation claim form, your employer is not obligated to provide you with benefits.

To choose your doctor, fill out the “Designated Treating Physician” form. When selecting a doctor for your treatment, it is best to see a physician who performs surgeries. An injured worker can run into problems with his or her workers’ compensation claim if multiple doctors are used.

“For example, if you have an orthopedic injury, it is best to choose an orthopedic surgeon as your doctor throughout the entire medical process,” says Austin Kennady.

One physician may state that surgery is recommended, but the workers’ compensation may deny the claim because of certain reasoning. If an appeal is needed, it is much easier to have a physician appeal that has monitored and treated you from the beginning.

It is important to know that you cannot change doctors during the treatment process without a valid reason. There must be a legitimate reason to change doctors, or your physician must refer you to another physician.

Workers should not use his or her own health insurance while seeking treatment under workers’ compensation. It is illegal for a company to a require a worker to make co-payments for treatment of work-related injuries in Kentucky. Medical providers may not engage in “balance billing” by charging employees separately for amounts more than those outlined in the medical fee schedule.

If you need medical treatment before the workers’ compensation claim is completed, you can go in front of administrative law judge to ask for treatment before the completed claim. The judge will decide if your treatment will be granted before the claim is finalized. To plea for treatment before receiving the claim, file with the department of workers’ claims. If the judge signs it is an accident related injury and reasonable and necessary treatment, the judge will put in the order. You are then able to seek medical treatment or have surgery performed before the workers’ compensation claim is completed.

In addition to medical treatment, you are entitled to reimbursements on mileage to and from doctor’s appointments. To check the latest compensation rate for mileage, visit the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims (DWC) website. You can only be compensated for the mileage spent for medical appointments including doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, physical therapy, etc. Visits to the pharmacy or your attorney’s office are not eligible for compensation on mileage.

For more information about Workers’ Compensation Claims in Kentucky, visit

http://www.labor.ky.gov/workersclaims/Pages/Department-of-Workers’-Claims.aspx

Do you need to file a workers’ compensation claim? Call the Bryant Law Center at (270) 444-1422 for your free consultation.