If you’re a Long Island resident that’s worried about what will happen after a workplace injury, you aren’t alone. There are few things more stressful in life than dealing with a workplace injury.
You’re worried about whether or not you’ll be able to get back to work soon, or if there will be a job waiting for you once you recover. Aside from your own health, you need to worry about bills, your employability, and how to move forward.
Finding the right workers’ comp doctor on Long Island will be important for your workers’ compensation case and your recovery. Keep reading so you can learn everything you need to know about finding a Long Island workers’ comp doctor that can help you recover.
Facts about Long Island, NY
There’s a lot you can say about Long Island’s storied history and culture, but if you want to know some truly interesting facts, you should focus on the sheer size of the area.
Ranking at 118 miles long and 23 miles wide, Long Island is actually larger than the entire state of Rhode Island.
Long Island is the most populated island in the United States, and it houses nearly 40% of all of New York City’s population. In fact, if Long Island were its own state, it would be the 13th biggest in the country with the highest population density!
Long Island Workers’ Comp Statistics
Since Long Island is so large, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are a lot of people in the area that need workers’ comp help.
It’s estimated that there were 33,312 reopened claims and 17,270 assembled claims in Long Island in 2017. That puts the number at a little over 50,000 total claims for the area.
Long Island doesn’t have the highest amount of workers’ comp claims in the state, but there are still tens of thousands of people that need help because of injuries they sustained at work.
Common Workplace Injuries
There are some people reading this article that may have a workplace injury and not know it. You may assume that some problems are an inevitability of going to work, or you may not know that a health problem you have could be linked to your job.
If you want to ensure that you’re staying safe on the job, be on the lookout for these common workplace injuries.
Trips, Slips, and Falls
These kinds of injuries are very common at work, and they can happen to anyone at any job. Most of the time these accidents happen because of a combination of carelessness and bad luck.
Someone may forget to wipe up a spill, or someone could forget to close a file cabinet drawer. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to get up and walk away after taking a fall, but it’s possible to sustain some pretty severe injuries from a simple slip and fall accident.
It’s possible that you may sprain your ankle or possibly even break a bone. In some severe cases, you could get a concussion or sustain nerve damage.
An aching back after a day at work doesn’t necessarily mean that you worked hard. It could be a sign that you’ve damaged your back and may be on your way to developing more serious problems.
Back injuries like herniated disks and muscle strain are common for workers that have to do heavy lifting. It’s possible to develop back problems from constantly needing to bend, or from simply overexerting yourself on the job.
Some people develop back problems through no fault of their own through lifting. It’s possible that being stuck up against an object or getting crushed by machinery could cause problems. Slipping and falling could also cause lasting damage to your back.
Equipment and Machinery Accidents
When you work with machinery and advanced equipment, you could be at risk for sustaining a very significant injury. Improperly trained employees, outdated equipment, and broken machinery can cause problems at work.
“Caught-in/between” accidents involving equipment and machinery are part of OSHA’s fatal four accidents. An alarming amount of people have been killed on the job from being crushed by equipment.
Accidents involving machinery and equipment don’t need to be deadly to be significant. Some people can experience deep lacerations or could experience permanent damage like the loss of a limb or could become paralyzed.
Some of these accidents may be caused by mistake or negligence, and others may occur because of the inaction of an employer.
When most people think about workplace injuries they usually envision intense and immediate physical damage. Hearing loss rarely comes to mind, but it’s one of the most common workplace injuries in the United States.
It’s estimated that around 11% of the working population has hearing difficulty. Surprisingly, nearly one out of four cases of worker hearing difficulty are caused by work-related exposures.
Some of these problems may be caused by loud noises, but you don’t have to work in a very loud environment to have problems with hearing loss. It’s also possible to be exposed to chemicals that can harm the inner ear.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motions may make the day seem slow, but it can do more harm than simply make you feel bored at work. Repetitive movements can eventually cause serious damage to your muscles and tendons.
Some people may develop carpal tunnel syndrome or develop back or vision problems. These kinds of injuries happen over time, but if you notice problems with numbness, soreness, or tingling it could be a sign that they’re starting to form.
Injuries of this type are relatively common because they can happen to almost anyone. An office worker that spends most of their day typing can get the same kind of carpal tunnel injury a factory worker could sustain.
Some people can see repetitive motion injuries as a part of the job, but it is possible to do repetitive movements and not be injured. It’s possible to be trained to work in a certain way to lessen these injuries, or your employer could choose to use ergonomic office equipment.
What Does a Workers’ Comp Doctor Do?
Now that we’ve spent a little time going over common workplace injuries, we can start talking about the special role a workers’ comp doctor will play in your case.
Simply put, a workers’ comp doctor a physician that specializes in treating patients that have been injured on the job.
The state of New York requires that a doctor needs to be authorized by the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board in order to treat injured workers, so don’t assume that any doctor can also help you with a workers’ comp claim.
You shouldn’t be nervous about seeing a workers’ comp doctor, your appointment with them won’t be too different from what you’re used to with your regular physician.
They’ll most likely start out with a comprehensive physical exam. After they’re done examining you, you’ll be asked a series of in-depth questions about how you’re feeling and about what happened when you sustained your injury.
After they finish examing and speaking with you, they’ll be able to determine the cause of the injuries and recommend the best possible treatment plan for you.
It’s important to be as detailed as possible when you’re answering their questions. The more honest you are with your answers, the better they’ll be able to treat you. Some people find that it’s helpful for them to write down any important details about the accident so they won’t forget to mention them to their doctor.
Do I Need to See a Workers’ Comp Doctor After an Accident?
The short answer to this question is: yes, absolutely.
If you want to file a workers’ compensation claim, you need to be medically evaluated and treated by a doctor that’s approved by your employer’s insurance company. In some special cases, your employer or insurance company may request that you have an Independent Medical Examination (IME).
People that refuse to see a workers’ comp doctor are only hurting their right to earn compensation. It’ll be next to impossible to get a workers’ compensation claim approved if you don’t see a doctor.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a workers’ comp doctor is just there to diagnose you after an accident. Workers’ comp doctors play a vital role in your compensation claim process.
The reports and diagnosis they make will be your official documentation of the injuries you sustained. That documentation will determine how you’re treated for injuries, whether you’re entitled to receive any workers’ comp benefits, and can even affect the amount of money you can receive in a settlement.
It’s also important to note that they’ll play a key role in determining the future of your employment. They may claim that you can work under certain restrictions and accommodations. If your injury is very serious, they may claim that you’ll be completely unable to work until you fully heal.
How Can a Long Island NY Workers’ Comp Doctor Help Me?
You know that seeing a workers’ comp doctor is crucial for your claim, but you may not be aware of all of the other ways seeing a doctor can help you.
A good workers’ comp doctor won’t just see you, give you a diagnosis, then leave. They’ll play an important role in your recovery.
There are so many ways the right workers’ comp doctor can help you out, but here are a few of the main benefits.
Fix Your Back Pain
Back pain is such a common problem among workers, but it’s also notoriously tricky to treat. If you want to find a way to finally get rid of your back pain, see if your worker’s comp doctor can refer you to a chiropractor.
Adjustments from a chiropractor can do more than just get rid of your back pain. If you’re lucky, you may notice a restored range of motion and reduced inflammation after a few visits.
Manage Your Overall Pain
If you’re experiencing any lasting pain or discomfort after a workplace injury, your doctor may recommend that you see a pain management doctor.
Don’t assume that the only way a pain management doctor can help you is by giving you strong opiates. A pain management doctor can give you a variety of ways to treat your pain.
It’s possible that your doctor may recommend that you receive steroid or cortisone shots to manage pain. They could even come up with an improved pain treatment plan from the medications you’re already taking.
Protect Your Muscles and Bones
If you’ve sustained a significant muscle or bone injury, don’t assume that time will be enough to heal. In some cases, you may need special orthopedic help to properly recover.
Your workers’ comp doctor may recommend that you see an orthopedic surgeon to speed up your recovery. Some insurance companies are reluctant to allow people to see specialists, but a recommendation from your workers’ comp doctor may convince them to cover it.
Prevent Neurological Damage
It doesn’t take much for the brain and important nerves to sustain damage. Sometimes a concussion or even a small hit to the head can cause significant lasting damage.
Your doctor can refer you to Long Island workers’ comp neurologist if you have any concerns about your neurological health. They can diagnose any problems you may have, and ensure that no serious damage as occurred.
Begin Physical Therapy
It’ll take time to rebuild your strength after a serious injury. Your workers’ comp doctor can help you on your journey to recovery by recommending that you see a physical therapist.
They can work with a physical therapist to create a comprehensive plan that’s designed to help you regain strength and get ready to work again.
Your physical therapist may recommend that you do certain exercises at home or could recommend that you receive more intensive care at an outside rehab facility.
Find Your Workers’ Comp Doctor Today
A Long Island NY Workers’ Comp doctor is going to play a vital role in your claims case. Whether you want to get the proper treatment you need to recover and get back to work or if you want to improve your chances of getting benefits, you need to find a doctor ASAP.
If you’re in need of a reliable doctor, we’re here to help.