When you have been in a workplace accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Depending on where you live, you could be taken to a doctor preselected by yourself or your employer. For most people, they will see a doctor that has been chosen by their employer and who is in-network with their insurance company.
What Not to Say to a Worker's Comp Doctor
The doctor will have a lot to ask you about your accident, injury, and preexisting conditions. Should you openly share everything with them? As a general rule, you should not skimp on the details because documenting the extent of your injury could take plenty of information. But there are things you shouldn’t say to a workers’ compensation doctor – ever.
Three things to never tell your workers’ comp doctor include:
- Exaggerations: Never tell your workers’ compensation doctor – during an initial medical examination or any follow-up appointments – anything that is an exaggeration. Be honest about the extent of your symptoms. If the pain you are feeling matches a 7 on the pain scale, then say a 7. Don’t say a 10 just to make a point. If the doctor catches on that you are exaggerating symptoms, then they might stop believing that any of your symptoms are genuine.
- Fabrications: Just as you should never exaggerate anything about your injury, you should also never tell a flat-out lie. Fabricating the truth of your case is only going to complicate things at best. At worst, you could be charged with insurance fraud. Honesty is the best policy, especially in any sort of legal matter.
- Frustrations: You are probably pretty upset with your employer for allowing the workspace condition that caused your injury. But don’t tell your doctor that. Your doctor will have to share their reports with your employer for transparency. If you complain about your employer the entire time, then it might end up in their notes, and your boss won’t be happy. Your employer can fire you for talking poorly about the company without any legal consequence. But you should still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation if you do get terminated.
To help you, here are two more tips:
- Prior injuries should not be left out - you may think insurance companies are more likely to deny your claim if you already have existing complications. However, this is not true. However, you must be prepared to explain the circumstances of the previous or existing injury. Additionally, you should be able to explain how the pain from your new injury differs from or is more severe than that from your old injury. You shouldn't hide an injury if you are able to do that.
- Don't omit any details from your accident report - Your account of what happened must match what you tell the doctor and the insurance adjuster about the accident. Avoid leaving out embarrassing details or making yourself look bad. Doctors are trained to spot inconsistencies. This discrepancy may jeopardize the chance of your claim being successful if they discover you haven't given the full story or withheld vital details.
Let an Experienced Workers' Comp Attorney Help Maximize Your Injury Claim
It can be difficult and time-consuming to file a workers' compensation claim and fight for the benefits that you deserve. It's okay to seek help when you need it. We can help you take the next steps in making sure your case is successful by offering our expertise in workers' compensation law and court systems.
Remember: the doctor's objective for your IME is to determine when you can return to work and check on your work status. As an extension of the insurance company, the workers' comp doctor is responsible for managing each claim carefully in order to limit their liability.
If you are seeking workers' compensation, you would be well advised to be honest throughout the process, providing all the details that will help tell the true story of your unfortunate incident.
For questions about what to say and not say to a workers’ comp doctor in Kentucky, let Kentucky Injury Law Center be your legal guide. We help clients throughout the state. Contact our firm today.