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Workplace Injuries & Seeking Treatment for Workers’ Comp Injuries

Note: in New York, GoHealth Urgent Care is not a workers' compensation licensed provider.

 

Workplace injuries can happen in any job, whether you’re in one of the country’s most dangerous professions, like logging or fishing, or spend sedentary hours at a desk.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries happen every year. If you’re injured on the job, or have an illness because of work, it’s important to know your rights and how workers’ compensation benefits work.

What are the Most Common Workplace Injuries?

The National Safety Council reports that a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds in the United States.

The most common workplace injuries are:

  • Overexertion, like lifting and lowering or repetitive motions; this accounts for 34 percent of workplace injuries.
  • Slips, trips, and falls, which make up 25 percent of injuries in the workplace and can result in head and back injuries, broken bones, cuts and lacerations, sprains, and pulled muscles.
  • Equally as prevalent are injuries caused by contact with objects and equipment, including being struck by an object or being caught or crushed in equipment.

What Happens After Getting Injured on the Job?

In order to ensure your rights to workers’ compensation benefits, it’s important to follow some simple steps after a workplace injury.

  1. First, seek treatment immediately, especially in case of emergency.
  2. Report your injury to a supervisor. Some states have short filing deadlines, so it’s important to provide this notification — in writing — as soon as possible. If you don’t report an injury when it happens, your employer can deny the accident occurred or may claim it happened outside of work.
  3. File a claim for workers’ comp, which covers lost wages, ongoing care, and medical costs to treat workplace injuries and illnesses. This is most easily done by seeing a workers comp injury care provider.
  4. Follow your provider’s orders and, if necessary, attend workers’ comp hearings, if required.

Can I Choose My Own Treating Doctor?

Each state’s workers’ comp laws determine the healthcare professional you can see for treatment of workplace injuries and illnesses. Some states require you to see a doctor chosen by your employer or employer’s insurance carrier.

In other states, you can choose any doctor within a network determined by the state, employer, or employer’s insurance company. In most states, you are permitted to receive treatment from any physician you choose for the initial visit, and emergency room visits are covered if your injury requires emergency care.  

Your convenient GoHealth Urgent Care center is a great choice for injury evaluation.

Note: GoHealth Urgent Care is not a workers' compensation licensed provider in New York.

Where Can I Get a Second Opinion?

If you are considering getting a second opinion, there are several benefits to choosing your local GoHealth Urgent Care:

  • You can be seen by a doctor sooner, cheaper, and in a facility with state-of-the-art medical technology.
  • If you do not already have a primary care physician, GoHealth Urgent Care has a large network of care providers, including Legacy, Dignity, Hartford HealthCare, and more.  
  • GoHealth Urgent Care is in-network for most insurance providers, including employer-sponsored and individual plans, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Before seeking a second opinion, check your state’s workers’ comp laws, which outline your rights and differ between states. You can also contact your employer’s human resources department for help in understanding your rights and starting the process.

Note: GoHealth Urgent Care is not a workers' compensation licensed provider in New York.

When Can I Return to Work?

Most people who receive benefits from workers’ comp return to work. However, when you’re out of work and waiting for workers’ comp reimbursement, it can be difficult to pay your regular bills.

While friends and family, or even local charities, can sometimes assist financially, many workers purchase supplemental short-term disability or accident insurance to help cover out-of-pocket expenses while awaiting reimbursement.

Setting up flexible payment plans for your medical bills can also help.

The decision to return to work after a workplace illness or injury should be determined between you and your doctor, not by your employer or insurance company.

It’s important to not return to work until you’re physically able to perform your duties. Be sure to get written instructions from your physician on what you can and cannot do when you return.

What are the Ongoing Treatment Options for Workplace Injuries?

Even after your doctor clears you to return to work, you may need to undergo follow-up care, including physical therapy and rehabilitation.

If this is the case, your physical therapist will develop a treatment plan designed specifically for your condition and circumstances. Together you determine short-term and long-term goals to return your body to its former mobility. Often, therapy includes exercises and training that mimic your job duties.

Whether you’re currently seeking treatment for a workplace injury, or simply researching your employer’s policies, begin by understanding your state’s workers’ comp laws, which will determine everything from how long you have to file a claim, to which doctor you can see.

GoHealth Urgent Care partners with these regional healthcare providers on worker's comp injuries:

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