Finding a Work Comp Doctor

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, it is critical to understand the rules around finding the right doctor to treat your injury.  Physicians who accept workers’ compensation insurance must be certified by the Workers’ Compensation Division. This might limit the pool of available healthcare providers. Also, since the employer’s insurance often has an established network of providers, workers may find their options even further restricted when seeking out a reputable and qualified work comp doctor.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas leads the state in workplace accidents due to dangerous industries like construction, oil and gas.

Here’s a snapshot of 2022 stats:

  • There were a total of 178,800 non-fatal workplace incidents
  • Industries leading the injuries are transportation, warehousing, arts, entertainment and recreation totaling 73,000 incidents
  • Retail industry accounted for 33,000 of the total.
  • Healthcare and social assistance industry accounted for 28,000 of the total

Knowing this, it is important to promptly locate a work comp doctor who not only understands the details of workers’ compensation claims but also prioritizes your health and recovery.

Whether you have suffered a workplace accident or are looking for a car accident doctor, we can help you find medical treatment to get you on the road to recovery right away.

Call Thompson Law anytime 24/7 and get the help you deserve when it comes to finding the right medical care for you.

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Additional Statistics for Workplace Accidents in Texas

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, there were 2.8 million injury and illness related cases in 2022, up from 7.5% in 2021. These are staggering statistics for an ongoing problem.  According to the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), Texas reported 178,800 total nonfatal cases for 2022. This represents and incident rate of 1.9 cases for every 100 full-time workers in our state versus 2.9 for the nation.

Incident Rate Statistics by Private Industry Sector

Of the 1.9 incident rate in Texas, meaning there were 1.9 cases for every equivalent full-time worker, the most dangerous work place accident injuries are listed below for 2022 in our state.

  1.  Transportation and warehousing:  3.7 incident rate per every 100 workers.
  2. Arts, entertainment and recreation:  3.6 incident rate per every 100 workers.
  3.  Retail trade: 3.3 incident rate per every 100 workers.
  4.  Healthcare and social assistance:  2.8 incident rate per every 100 workers.
  5.  Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting:  2.3 incident rate per every 100 workers.

Work Comp Doctors: Why Don’t All Doctors Treat Workplace Injuries?

When you suffer from a work-related injury, the last thing you want to worry about is finding a work comp doctor who can treat your conditions. Unfortunately, this may not be an easy task. Due to various reasons, finding a doctor who accepts workers’ compensation insurance can be challenging.

The various reasons making it difficult to find a work comp doctor include:

  • Lack of Qualified Doctors and Healthcare Providers:  In addition to the state’s certified list of work comp doctors and healthcare networks, Texas lacks healthcare providers who accept workers’ compensation insurance. Many doctors are hesitant to accept patients with work-related injuries because they don’t want to deal with the paperwork and legalities involved with work comp claims.
  • Geographic Location:  Rural areas in particular throughout our state may have fewer doctors who specialize in treating work-related injuries than urban areas.
  • Long Wait Times:  Even if you do manage to find a doctor who accepts work comp insurance, there may still be long wait times before you can get an appointment. This delay could result in further damage or complications related to your injury.
  • Referral Requirements:  Some insurance companies require patients to get referrals from their primary care physicians before seeing specialists for their injuries. This requirement can add an extra layer of complexity in your search for the right doctor.

If you are having difficulty finding a work comp doctor, contact our law firm today and Thompson Law will help.

What are the Most Common Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries?

Work comp injuries, also known as occupational injuries, are far more varied than you might think. Jobs come with unique risks, and it is important to understand the types of injuries that are most frequently covered by workers’ compensation before seeking the appropriate doctor for you. This list of common work-related injuries will increase your awareness and help ensure the right steps are taken to find the right work comp doctor for you.

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls:  Leading cause of workplace injuries.
  • Overexertion Injuries:  Excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, or throwing is prevalent and often the cause of accidents from physically demanding occupations.
  • Machine Entanglement:  Working with heavy machinery can cause severe injuries if clothing or limbs become entangled in moving parts.
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries:  Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) develop over time from repetitive motion, vibration, force, or awkward positions.
  • Fires and Explosions:  Employees in various industries face the risk of fires and explosions, particularly those working with flammable materials or in confined spaces.
  • Electrocutions:  Electrician or not, almost all jobs entail some level of electrical hazard. Improperly grounded equipment, exposed wires, and wet conditions are major culprits. may
  • Exposure to Hazardous Materials:  Exposure to toxic substances and chemicals can cause severe, long-term health issues, sometimes without immediate symptoms.
  • Work Vehicle Accidents:  For those who drive as part of their job, the road can be an unpredictable workplace and cause a range of injuries.
  • Assaults and Acts of Violence:  Unfortunately, some occupations involve a significant risk of violence, such as healthcare, social services, and law enforcement.
  • Caught In-Between Accidents:  Being caught in-between objects can lead to crushing injuries, loss of limbs, or even death.
  • Struck by (or Against) Incidents:  Injuries from being struck by an object are more common than many realize. Tools, falling debris, and vehicles are among the most common.
  • Hearing Loss and Ear Injuries:  Exposure to loud noises, especially without proper ear protection, can lead to hearing loss or ear injuries like tinnitus or ear infections.
  • Foot and Ankle Injuries:  The feet and ankles bear the brunt of our body’s weight and are vulnerable to injuries like fractures, sprains, and plantar fasciitis.

Being aware of these common workplace injuries is important when seeking the right work comp doctor. Our legal experts at Thompson Law can also help you to find a qualified doctor for your specific injuries. Call us anytime; we are here to help.

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What Type of Doctors Treat Workplace Injuries?

Workers’ compensation claims often involve a series of medical treatments and multiple specialists. As a victim of a work-related injury in Texas, it is important to know the types of doctors you may encounter in your recovery process. This information can help you navigate the healthcare system with confidence, ensuring you receive proper care. Here’s a breakdown of the consistent medical professionals you might meet along the way.

    • Chiropractors:  Chiropractic care focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. This approach can be beneficial in cases of back injuries or chronic pain resulting from work-related activities.
    • Occupational Medicine Physicians:  Occupational medicine physicians are specialists trained to prevent, diagnose, and treat work-related injuries. Their expertise spans various medical fields, from internal medicine and family practice to emergency medicine. If you’re dealing with a work comp case, an occupational medicine physician will likely be the first point of contact. They also play a key role in injury prevention in the workplace.
    • Orthopedic Surgeons:  Orthopedic surgeons specialize in treating conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. When work-related injuries involve bone fractures, joint damage, or severe muscle strains, these doctors are usually the best equipped to provide the necessary surgical intervention.
    •  Neurologists:  Neurologists are experts in diagnosing and treating disorders of the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord injuries. In cases where work-related injuries lead to neurological issues, such as nerve damage or head trauma, consulting a neurologist is essential.
  • Physical Therapists:  Physical therapists play a critical role in the recovery process by designing and implementing rehabilitation programs geared toward restoring your mobility and reducing pain. If you’ve sustained an injury that affects your ability to perform everyday activities, a physical therapist will guide you through exercises and therapies to strengthen your body.
  • Pain Management Specialists:  In some cases, work-related injuries may lead to chronic pain that requires the expertise of a pain management specialist. These doctors are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat various types of pain to improve your quality of life and functional ability.

By familiarizing yourself with these specialists, you empower yourself to engage proactively in your recovery. Remember, effective rehabilitation is a team effort, and each of these medical professionals has a valuable role to play in your journey back to health and work.

Who Should Cover My Medical Expenses for My Work Comp Injury?

Navigating the aftermath of a workplace injury can be as complex as it is painful. Beyond the physical recovery, there’s the labyrinth of legalities and financial hurdles to clear. One of the most pressing questions for many is, “Who pays for my injuries in a work comp case?” Below, we explore the key entities that could be responsible for your work comp claim, bringing clarity to a somewhat murky arena.

  • Your Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance:  In most cases of workplace injuries, it’s your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance that ultimately foots the bill. This insurance is designed to cover medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and ongoing care for injuries that occur as a direct result of one’s employment. This ‘no-fault’ insurance means that the coverage applies whether the employer or employee is at fault.
  • The At-Fault Third Party:  Sometimes, a workplace injury involves a third party not employed by your company. This could be a contractor, vendor, or another entity. If their actions or negligence is a factor in your injury, you may be able to seek compensation through a lawsuit against them, in addition to collecting workers’ comp.
  • Self-Insured Employers:  Some larger companies opt to be self-insured, meaning they handle workers’ comp claims internally, rather than going through a state-regulated insurer. In these cases, the company is financially responsible for providing benefits, rather than an outside insurance company.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):  In severe cases where injuries cause long-term or permanent disability, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. Like workers’ comp, this is a federal insurance program that provides benefits to people who are unable to work due to a disability.
  • State Second Injury Funds:  Texas offers programs to assist workers who are injured when a current injury combines with a pre-existing condition to cause greater disabilities. These funds provide employers with a level of protection against increased compensation costs associated with the pre-existing.
  • Uninsured Employers’ Fund:  If your employer fails to carry required workers’ comp insurance, the state’s run Uninsured Employers’ Fund provides a safety net for injured workers.
  • Health Insurance:  While health insurance doesn’t typically cover workplace injuries directly, it could come into play if your workers’ comp claim is disputed or under dispute.

Understanding who pays for your injury is critical to both your financial and medical recovery. By navigating this complex landscape with knowledge of the entities involved, you can strengthen your position and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Remember, each situation is unique, so it’s always best to consult with a workers’ comp attorney to guide you through the specifics of your case.

Should I See My Primary Care Physician about My Work Comp Injury?

When you are injured on the job, navigating the healthcare system in the aftermath can feel like yet another hurdle in an already challenging race. Many individuals are unaware of the complications that can arise from simply going to their regular doctor instead of seeking specialized care through their workplace compensation benefits. This is why we are here to help at Thompson Law. We can consult with you and connect you with the right work comp doctor.

Possible risks are associated if you see your primary doctor to handle your workplace injury:

  • Time delay:  See a doctor approved by the state’s certified list from the beginning to prevent delayed communication with employers and adjusters.
  • Financial risks:  Seeing your primary could lead to costs not being covered.
  • Risk of mismanagement of Injury:  Workplace injuries can be complex. Opting for your regular doctor might risk the mismanagement of your injury if they are not experienced in work-related health cases, leading to improper treatment and possibly prolonged suffering.
  • Legal implications of medical reports:  Physicians not versed in the nuances of work-related injury cases may inadvertently omit or inaccurately document critical details in your medical reports.
  • Prolonged recovery time:  Choosing your regular doctor may lengthen your recovery time. A physician unfamiliar with work comp cases may not recognize the return-to-work opportunities that could be safely pursued.

While the familiarity and comfort of seeing your own primary physician might seem tempting, it’s essential to weigh these against the advantages of specialized care provided through work comp. Call Thompson Law today and let us help you find a qualified specialist for your injuries.

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Call Thompson Law if You Need Help Finding a Work Comp Doctor

Whether you have health insurance or not, it is important to find a work comp doctor who is qualified by the state and has the experience in treating workplace injuries. Further, your workman’s doctor must work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your schedule and specific needs. With the right approach, you can get the care you need and move forward with your life after the trauma a workplace injury can cause.

Our Texas personal injury lawyers at Thompson Law are dedicated to helping accident victims find the right work comp doctor for workplace accident victims. Call our work comp doctor resource team today to learn how we can help you find an appropriate work comp doctor, and get started on your road to recovery.

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