Hurt On The Job : Common Mistakes (Part 4)

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DO make sure you follow all the rules as laid out in your employee hand book.  If you are not sure if you have an employee handbook, now would be a good time to ask for one.  If your employee handbook tells you to check in after going to every doctor appointment related to your workers’ compensation claim, THEN DO THAT! Failure to do so could result in your termination and loss of critical Time Loss benefits.

DON’T assume the HIPPA rules protect your health information related to your worker’s compensation from getting to your employer.  THEY DO NOT!

DON’T assume your attorney is allowed to have communication with your employer.  There are some very strict ethical rules that all Attorneys in Oregon have to abide by when representing clients.  Under most circumstances, your attorney is not legally allowed to contact the employer.

DO always bring your updated off-work slips to your employer immediately. Failure to do so could result in termination.

DON’T assume you can schedule your medical appointments during your scheduled working hours.  Another big misconception by injured workers is the notion that due to their on-the-job injury (workers’ compensation claim), their employer must accommodate any of their medical appointments during scheduled work shifts.  This is 100% false and actually could result in your termination.  Schedule these appointments when you are not working or at the very least communicate and get permission from your employer to attend these appointments if they are scheduled during your work shift.  Should you need to get permission from your employer, it is a good idea to get this in writing.  A quick email saved to your account, should be sufficient.

While it is your responsibility to keep your employer up to date regarding your worker’s compensation claim, you do not need to allow your employer to attend your medical appointments with you. Your face-to-face appointment with your medical provider is your private time and you are not required to allow anyone to attend.

The workers’ compensation insurance company tries to confuse this issue by having an independent nurse case manager attend medical appointments with you.  First of all, this so called “independent” nurse case manager is far from independent. Not only do they usually work directly for that particular insurance company, but their overriding mission is to limit the exposure to the insurance company.  AS A GENERAL RULE, never allow a non-family member to attend any appointments with you.  Always check with your attorney first.

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