After you have been injured on the job, there are a couple of things an injured employee might expect to happen next. You may expect you will have to make a formal claim or that you will have to be evaluated by a doctor who will make a report to your employer.
What you will NOT expect is that your claim may mean the beginning of legal proceedings that can last for months or even years.
If an employee and an employer cannot agree on an approved course of treatment, legal action must be taken to ensure the employee’s rights to compensation are protected.
Brenda Harris learned this lesson firsthand when she was injured in 2011. After her injury, she began the process of recovery by going to physical therapy and using prescription medications. In 2014, her settlement on a workers’ compensation claim stating that all future medical benefits were to remain open was approved.
However, her employer would not approve some of the prescriptions she needed and refused payment. Brenda’s doctor testified that she needed everything he prescribed to her to heal, but her employer found two other doctors to refute Brenda’s doctor’s claims that his treatment plan was medically necessary.
The trial court found in favor of Brenda, holding that her employer was in contempt for refusing to provide medical treatment. For an employer to refuse to honor payment of an agreed upon settlement, the employer must request judicial review, and Brenda’s employer did not.
While workers’ compensation laws were originally enacted to compensate someone injured working at their job without determining who was at fault for the injury, now these cases are often hotly contested by employers. This is because oftentimes, employers are focused on how to pay the least amount to an injured party in order to minimize payouts from their insurance policies.
Workers compensation cases are not only very technically complicated, but also very emotional for the injured party and their family members. The best way to ensure a successful resolution of your case is to hire an attorney who thoroughly knows the area of workers compensation.
If you have been injured on the job, call attorney Joseph A. Ingram of Ingram Law at (205) 335-2640.