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The Role of Medical Treatment in Workers’ Compensation Claims

Medical treatment plays a central role in workers’ compensation claims. When workers suffer injuries on the job in Colorado, their primary priority should always be to get effective medical treatment as soon as possible. While this medical treatment may prove to be expensive, you simply cannot put a price on your health. Fortunately, the workers’ comp program provides compensation for these medical expenses, ensuring employees don’t need to choose between healing and financial security. Upon closer examination, however, the relationship between medical treatment and financial compensation may be more complex than many workers in Colorado realize.

The Importance of Immediately Seeking Medical Attention

Seeking Medical Attention

After a workplace injury, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Any delays may cause issues as you apply for benefits. Even if you believe that your injuries are not that bad, it’s still a good idea to “play it safe” and see a licensed doctor as soon as possible. Ideally, you should proceed straight from the scene of the accident to a hospital, clinic, or medical facility of some kind. In the case of serious accidents, first responders will likely attempt to transport you to the nearest hospital via ambulance. It is important to accept all treatment at the scene and agree to be transported to a nearby hospital.

The truth is that many people react in a somewhat unpredictable manner after suffering an injury. Adrenaline may flood our brains, causing a “fight or flight” response. Some individuals may become numb to any pain, making it difficult to assess the extent of their own injuries. Others may have difficulty remembering exactly how the accident occurred, especially if they have suffered a serious head injury. These issues illustrate how important it is to accept all medical treatment, even if you are not quite sure how bad your injuries are.

If you fail to get medical treatment in a timely manner, this may be interpreted as a sign that your injuries are minor. As a result, you may encounter roadblocks as you pursue compensation. Insurance providers may argue that if your injuries were truly serious, you would have had no choice but to get medical treatment as soon as possible.

The Role of Maximum Medical Improvement

Another important concept is Maximum Medical Improvement, which is also known as simply “MMI.” As the name implies, this is the moment at which a patient’s condition stops improving. For example, someone might suffer a workplace brain injury that causes a speech impediment, cognitive limitations, and partial loss of motor control. After months of rehabilitation treatments, the worker may regain the ability to have basic conversations, understand the world around them, and dress themselves. However, it may also become clear that certain issues are permanent. At this point, the doctors may conclude that the brain injury patient has reached their MMI.

When a patient reaches their MMI, two things may happen. If the worker is capable of returning to work in some capacity, ongoing wage loss benefits cease. In an ideal world, the worker will have completely recovered, allowing them to return to their previous work duties. However, workers are often forced to undertake modified tasks after reaching their MMI, as certain aspects of their injuries may be permanent, partial disabilities.

Another possibility is that the MMI determination ends with a permanent disability classification. If a worker is considered permanently disabled after reaching their MMI, this may trigger the award of ongoing workers’ comp benefits for the rest of the worker’s life.

Who Should Treat My Workplace Injury?

You should always seek treatment from an authorized treating physician after suffering a workplace injury in Colorado. These are specially trained, experienced healthcare providers who have extensive knowledge of occupational injuries. Not only are these providers capable of providing the best possible treatment, but you may also lose eligibility for compensation if you do not select them for your treatment.

Where Can I Find an Experienced Workers’ Comp Attorney in Colorado?

If you have been searching for an experienced workers’ comp attorney in Colorado, look no further than the Law Offices of W. Dan Mahoney, P.C. The process of filing a workers’ comp claim may feel somewhat daunting, especially when you consider the complexities of ongoing treatment, MMI, and a range of confusing medical or legal terms. Fortunately, you do not have to navigate this process alone. Book a consultation with W. Dan Mahoney at your earliest convenience, and you can strive for the compensation you need for the best possible healing process.