Do I have to follow the doctor’s instructions after my work injury?
When you get hurt on the job, you just want to heal and get back to normal. You know that workers’ compensation pays for your medical care and a percentage of your salary, but you probably want to get back to full earning capacity. You can’t rush healing though, nor should you try to return to work before the doctor provides a full medical okay.
You’ll hurt both your finances and yourself if you cheat your recovery.
First, your health… if you return to work without the doctor’s approval from the injury, you could easily aggravate the injury or hurt yourself worse.
That means you would need to repeat all of the recovery steps you have already gone through. You might add new ones.
Perhaps you’re in physical therapy now for an injury or you need to have surgery to permanently fix a problem. Going back to work before finishing the prescribed treatment can cause permanent physical damage.
Second, your finances… if you return to work without your doctor’s approval or if you skip your physical therapy appointments, the insurance company can refuse your claim, explains Taylorsville workers compensation attorneys Alta Legal. That means you would have to pay for your medical treatment and potentially pay the insurance company back for what it had already claimed.
When you ignore the doctor’s advice and prescribed treatment, you provide proof for the insurance company that you weren’t injured or weren’t injured as badly as you claimed. That results in lost money for you.
If you return to work prematurely after, for example, a slipped disc, if you re-injure yourself, the insurance company can also refuse your claim. They will check whether you have medical permission to return to work. If you did not, they’ll say that you knew you were not supposed to work, so the injury is your fault, not that of the company that employs you.
For those two important reasons, regardless of how slow your progress in healing a physical injury is, you should follow your medical doctor’s advice precisely. You should not try to rush back to work after a broken bone or disc injury, especially. Attend every physical therapy appointment and perform every exercise to the best of your ability. Putting your full effort into your recovery can mean a full recovery and it can help you obtain financial assistance from the insurance company while you recover.
We’re the workers compensation attorneys Utah turns to when hurt on the job.