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Why you must follow doctor's orders after a work injury

One of the most important steps following a workplace injury is seeking medical attention right away. Failing to do so can harm your case, as insurance providers may interpret the delay as meaning you have a false or minor injury.

In addition to medical care through your employer's network, it can be wise to get a second opinion to ensure test results, immediate treatment and long-term recovery plans are complete and accurate.

Once you receive instructions on how to care for and heal from your injury, it is vital that you follow doctor's orders. Any neglect of or deviance from these directions can lead to the denial of your workers' compensation claim, as well as hinder proper recovery, leading to long-term consequences on your health and ability to work.

Consequences of not following doctor's orders

How does noncompliance with medical restrictions affect your workers' comp claim? Remember that insurers want to find any way to get out of reimbursing you. When you choose not to follow your recovery plan, you allow insurance companies to accuse you of not having an injury as severe as you say it is or of being responsible for the worsening of your condition and therefore undeserving of full compensation.

How to do your part

You can do your part in increasing your chances of a successful claim and recovery by doing the following:

  • Attending all your medical appointments
  • Following treatment guidelines
  • Adhering to work restrictions
  • Taking medications

Going through with any therapy programs is effective in getting back to work quickly and avoiding re-injury. If physical therapy is not a part of your treatment, ask your doctor if it can be. Most important is to maintain regular, honest communication between you, your doctor and your employer. Making sure that everyone is on the same page can help to prevent violations, suspicions and arguments. If you do not agree with doctor's orders, follow them until you have received a second opinion and spoken to a lawyer about your options.

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