Some Common Mistakes In Workers’ Compensation

 

Host:

We have so many rules in life and that, of course, carries over into worker’s compensation. Katherine Stone from Injury Florida Law’s here to break down some of the rules that you need to remember. Katherine, how are you?

Katherine:

Good, how are you?

Host:

I am well. I feel like when you come here, Katherine, worker’s compensation, there’s so much, there’s so many fine line items to keep in mind that a lot of times people don’t know where to begin and make mistakes, right?

Katherine:

Yes, and even sometimes clients who I’ve had for several years get into their head that they can take their case and manage it themselves. Recently, I had a situation where a client decided that this particular client wanted to have surgery. None of the authorized doctors were recommending surgery, and unbeknownst to me, went and had the surgery on his own.

Host:

With obviously the doctors, the workers’ compensation did not give?

Katherine:

No, with separate doctors, yeah, with separate doctors. And so now we’re in a battle to say over whether or not after the fact it was not… there’s a question as to whether or not it was an emergency surgery or not, which that throws it into different realms. But the lesson, more importantly, is, A, keep your lawyer informed, make sure your lawyer knows before you do something drastic like try to go to a new doctor. I tell clients this all the time and we’ve talked about it before in segments, you don’t get to choose your doctor and expect in specific situations.

Katherine:

I tell clients, and the way I present it to you is don’t go spend your money on something that, A, you cannot get reimbursed for from workers’ compensation and, two, that could jeopardize the ability to stay within the system and continue to get the benefits that you’re currently getting from workers’ compensation. It has huge ramifications when clients just decide to take it upon themselves to do things. I’m not here to tell someone that they can’t go do something.

Host:

Right, of course.

Katherine:

But I need to be made aware and that’s what I tell clients, look, we’re available by email, text, or phone call. There’s not any way that you can not reach us. We will get and you can reach us, and so just tell us. Because, again, there are rules and there are a finite period of rules and workers’ comp is all about the statutory provisions and what they allow and what claimants can and cannot get under the workers’ comp system.

Host:

Well, I like that you say you’re not telling people not to go to a doctor of their choice, you have to do this.

Katherine:

Correct, and sometimes I tell them, look, in situations where I feel like maybe that is to their benefit, then I will tell them, I will encourage them to do that. But they have to understand that workers’ comp isn’t going to pay them back for their copay, workers’ comp isn’t going to pay for that visit. We may or may not be able to use that report to get workers’ comp to do something.

Host:

And, again, or pay for a surgery.

Katherine:

Or pay for a surgery, yes.

Host:

That is one thing, and I always want to be the person that thinks that, “Oh, the doctors and everyone’s going to be real open.” And you may go and say, “Oh, I’m workers’ comp, they would tell me if they didn’t treat me.” That’s probably not the case, the doctor’s probably thinking, “Oh, yeah, I see why you need a surgery.”

Katherine:

Only certain doctors take workers’ compensation, not every doctor does. It’s like not every doctor takes every insurance. So that’s why there’s it’s a limited pool of doctors that actually accept workers’ comp. They can accept workers’ compensation, but if they have not been authorized by the carrier involved in your case, they still, just because they treat workers’ comp patients, doesn’t mean that they can be your doctor.

Host:

Oh I see, because they want your doctor that you were given through your case?

Katherine:

Correct, yes.

Host:

That’s what people need to keep in mind. That’s interesting. I don’t think we’ve touched on that yet.

Host:

I’m glad we brought that one up. Again, workers’ compensation, there are so many elements to it and that’s why we’re so thankful for Katherine and her team. Of course, if you want more information, Injury Florida Law firm, that’s where you can go on the website, address, and phone number. Again, Katherine, thank you-

 

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