A workplace injury is stressful enough, you don’t want to be denied compensation that you’re entitled to.
Maybe you didn’t dot all the I’s and cross all the t’s on your forms. Or perhaps you didn’t get the right professionals to offer support while you navigate your way through recovery.
There are more than 130,000 injured workers each year in New York. How each recovers depends a great deal on the medical professionals they have on their side.
You must find the right workers’ compensation doctors to develop the best care plan for you.
Check out these tips to learn how.
Expert Workers’ Compensation Doctors
You don’t just need medical professionals who understand your injuries. They need to comprehend the stress and difficulties associated with workplace injuries in particular.
Mental health plays a huge part in how an individual participates in their recovery care plan. Financial stress and being forced back to work before a person feels ready can add to it. Feelings of frustration or of being misunderstood can all complicate and slow down a person’s healing process.
You need to find workers’ compensation doctors and medical professionals that have experience supporting patients through their injury, compensation claims, and recovery.
Doctors that have dealt with the WCB regularly will offer a level of emotional support you’ll appreciate. As you attempt to meet all the administration and documentation requirements, you’ll be sure to want their advice.
One doctor can’t necessarily treat everything that is going on with you. They need a team to do it effectively.
You want a medical team that can successfully provide a whole-person care approach. You’ll want medical professionals available to manage any health concerns and facilitate the best care plan possible.
Take time to consider the importance of a healthcare team that includes the following services:
Orthopedic and Neurology Specialists
General practitioners are trained well to take care of general health concerns. You need a doctor that specializes in treating your injuries.
There are medical breakthroughs, gains in research, and advancements made every day in every area of medicine. No general practitioner can stay up-to-date on all of it.
That’s why you want a specially trained doctor to manage any bone or nerve injuries. Proper treatment from the onset of injury or pain can help avoid complications.
It’s crucial to have a team that is connected and working together. Rather than several different teams that don’t communicate. You can cut down on delays in treatment and miscommunication issues. Working with a multi-specialty medical team that provides diagnostic testing and on-site labs in one office will minimize delays.
There is a lot more to recovery and rehabilitation than a few X-rays and a visit or two to the doctor. Often the best quality of life can be offered to a patient by including support services in the care plan and integrated health team.
Communication is seamless and there are no delays in changes to the treatment plan. Information is relayed to the other services immediately because they all work together.
Emotional Support and Pain Management
One of the most difficult parts of dealing with a workplace injury can often be emotional. The effect of being in pain and unable to work can place on a person.
When the injury includes a great deal of pain it can have a negative impact on every area of a person’s life. It can affect their overall physical and mental health.
Learning how to cope with chronic pain can be an overwhelming prospect. It’s important to feel supported throughout your journey back to health. Pain management can assist you in having a good quality of life while managing pain.
Pain management specialists can help you learn coping techniques and come up with an individual treatment plan to cope with pain symptoms.
It’s crucial to take care of your mental health. General medical professionals often don’t have the time or the expertise to truly support their patients in this aspect of care.
You will want workers’ compensation doctors that have experience and expertise in psychiatry and pain management as a part of your medical treatment team.
Even if you don’t feel the need for support in this area now, things can change, you may have times during your recovery where these services will be appreciated both for your mental health and for your workers’ compensation claim process.
Paperwork in a Paperless World
Computers were created to help make it a paperless world. But it seems no one told the government that because they love their paperwork and you’ll have to fill out a ton of it by the time all is said and done with a worker’s compensation claim.
It can seem overwhelming when you’re handed a stack of forms. You, your employer, and your healthcare professionals are required to submit copies for proof of injuries and treatment.
You will need to include documentation to support and prove each claim. Any changes will need to be documented and reported with test results and professional consultation updates as treatments continue.
The right workers’ compensation doctors will know how to gather comprehensive diagnostic proof and documentation to support your claim.
They will be able to help you navigate the system so that you can receive the rehabilitative support you need to get back to work as quickly and safely as possible.
Claims can be denied or delayed and services refused because there is not enough significant or appropriate medical documentation. As such, make sure you follow their advice and gather all the information you may need.
This will save you time and aggravation because you won’t have to run around trying to make sure you have everything in place when your doctor has had to fill out the paper and deal with the Workers’ Compensation Board hundreds of times.
More Personalized Recovery Plan
Many work-related injuries occur because of repetitive actions or happen from performing a task you’ve done a hundred times before. This means the chance of re-injury, in the same manner, is a strong possibility without the right rehabilitation and recovery plan.
A workplace condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome isn’t going to have a chance to completely heal if you just take a week off work until it’s not so sore. You’ll then return to performing the same tasks using the same tendons, nerves, and muscles in the same way you developed the injury in the first place.
You need physicians, physical therapists and medical professionals that understand the contributing factors and dynamics of workplace injuries. This will enable you to receive the proper care and rehabilitation plan for your life.
It doesn’t do you any good for a doctor to tell you “If your arm hurts when you use it, just don’t use it”. You need to be able to make a living and you need a doctor that understands your struggle and the demands that your job has on your body.
It’s not just about stopping the immediate symptoms. It’s about making you as healthy and productive in life as possible.
Multi-Faceted Care Plan
The more consolidated your care team is, the less running around all across New York you’ll have to do. You need a comprehensive care plan with a well-rounded medical team that is easy for you to access.
When you end up having to see several specialists to get all of the medical and diagnostic tests done, you don’t want them all being scattered across the state and none of them communicating with each other.
You want a multi-specialty medical team that works together to come up with the best plan for your overall health.
The more they can communicate together and collaborate on your rehabilitation and recovery, the more quickly you’ll be able to complete your claim, recover from your injury and return to work and to feeling your best.
A multi-specialty medical care team will also be able to treat all injuries or symptoms simultaneously. You won’t have to wait for one doctor’s care plan to lead you to a referral for another physician or course of treatment. When all of your medical team are under the same care center and have a good working professional relationship, you can address all the issues at once and return to work more quickly.
Common Workplace Injuries
The most common type of injury for your workplace will depend on the type of environment it is, but some statistically occur more frequently across the board.
More than 2.8 million non-fatal injuries are reported each year. The top reasons for these claims include:
- Strains, sprains, cuts, and contusions
- Swelling, inflammation, burns
- Breaks and fractures
- Stress and mental health
Fatigue, overwork, lack of sleep and lack of training are all contributing factors to a large percentage of workplace injuries in industries such as Healthcare, warehouse, construction, and even office environments.
First responders and healthcare professionals also have the added stress and concern of being assaulted on the job. This is especially true when they are working in Mental Health, addiction treatment or with dementia patients.
A construction, warehouse, or outdoor work environment will pose different threats than an office environment but all result in thousands of injuries for workers each year.
Industrial, Construction, and Outdoor Common Workplace Causes of Injuries
Even on a job site where all the rules and regulations are strictly adhered to, there can be injuries and accidents.
Agricultural careers such as working on a ranch or farm are the most dangerous as far as fatalities go in the United States.
As one would expect, the construction industry also has a significant number of workplace accidents. In both of these industries, there is constant action with dozens of potentially dangerous situations using large equipment and tools.
In NYC, construction workers account for just 5% of the workforce but experience more than a quarter of the workplace injuries reported in the city.
Some of the most common causes of injuries for construction workers include:
- Tripping, falling or slipping
- Impact of falling from another story or ladder
- Impact of something falling on them
- Being struck by or falling into something causing bleeding
- Concussions, contusions, and broken bones
- Being hit by a piece of equipment or by a moving vehicle
Common Office Environment Causes of Injuries
Many of the same dangers affect workers that spend their day in a cubicle rather than cranes and staring out the window of highrises rather than building them.
- Handling dangerous materials
- Tripping and falling
- Cut or pierced by something
- Hit by or into an object
- Equipment or machinery-related injury
- Overexertion, environmental
Motor vehicle accidents and assaults were also high on the list of reasons for Emergency room visits for work-related injuries.
Not Just Workers Compensation Doctors, but Advocates
You want more than just a doctor or therapist who treats your symptoms. You need advocates to be in your corner and help you get the time and resources you need to have the best quality of life as possible.
You don’t want to be seen once, told to take two aspirin, throw on a brace and head back to work before you’re physically and mentally ready to do so.
Many people who experience workplace injuries feel intimidated or pressured into returning to their job before they feel like they should physically. An injury doesn’t just affect your physical health though, it also wreaks havoc on your mental health.
You want medical professionals that are sensitive to the many stresses and factors that contribute to an individual’s healing and quality of life.
Choose the Right Doctor for Your Health
Having the right workers’ compensation doctors can help you feel more confident in your care plan. It can give you the peace of mind you need to heal and return to work stronger than ever.
Call (888) 590-4030 today to find an experienced worker’s comp doctor near you.