Medical Treatment After a Workplace Injury in Torrance

You may have been hauling heavy boxes and wrenched your back or developed an itchy rash from handling chemicals at your job. Now, what do you do? When your injury is life-threatening, ask a co-worker to call 911. When you predesignate a family physician, you should get an appointment as quickly as possible. When you do not have a treating physician, your employer will provide a list of them approved by the workers’ compensation insurer.

Report your accident or illness to your employer, who, under California Labor Code § 5401, will give you a claim form (DWC-1) and a Notice of Potential Eligibility (e3301), which you must complete and return within one working day. Although you may be eligible for temporary or permanent disability benefits, the first thing you need to do to establish your benefits is to get medical treatment after a workplace injury in Torrance.

What Types of Medical Treatment Are Available?

Employers are required to pay for employees’ medical treatment when they are injured at work or suffer a job-related illness. Employees are not expected to contribute to this coverage, which is secured through workers’ compensation insurance. It is also illegal for a medical provider, including a hospital, to bill a patient receiving treatment for a work-related condition.

Employees are entitled to reasonable care necessary to cure the injury or illness. According to Ca. Lab. Code § 4600(a), this care includes:

  • Hospital treatment, including surgery
  • Care by physicians and nurses
  • Medications
  • Medical Equipment, including crutches, prosthetics, and orthotic devices
  • Alternative care, such as acupuncture and chiropractic sessions

Any care administered must follow accepted, scientifically based medical guidelines called the Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule (MTUS). For questions about medical care after a workplace injury, contact a Torrance workers’ compensation attorney.

Deciding Treatment Eligibility After an Injury at Work

Employers working with workers’ compensation claims adjustors must abide by a Utilization Review (UR) program to determine when recommended medical treatment will be approved.

Employees can consult with a predesignated physician, a physician from the employer’s or insurer’s Medical Provider Network (MPN), or a physician in the employer’s Health Care Network (HCO). The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) must approve MPN and HCO physicians.

When an injured worker’s employer does not offer an MPN or HCO, the claims adjustor will select an approved doctor to treat the employee for the first 30 days after an injury, after which the employee can choose an alternative. An attorney in Torrance can guide an injured employee seeking medical treatment after a workplace injury.

The Physician’s Role

The initial treating physician examines and diagnoses the patient and provides an initial report for the employer, insurance company, and claims administrator, detailing whether the injury or illness is work-related or caused by a pre-existing condition. The physician will also give an opinion about the employee’s ability to return to work or an alternative light duty position should the employer make one available. Although there is an appeals process, benefits are not automatic and can be denied for several reasons. A lawyer can help manage an injured employee’s claim for medical treatment and other benefits after a workplace accident in Torrance.

Benefits Require Medical Treatment After a Workplace Accident in Torrance

Employees injured at work or who become ill because of an aspect of their job must notify employers as soon as possible. When your injuries are critical, you should seek emergency medical care but generally can visit the doctor designated in your employment file or one sanctioned by the DWC.

The physician will issue an initial report with treatment recommendations, which your employer must pay for when your claim is approved. Other benefits, such as a monthly, tax-free checks, are contingent on medical treatment after a workplace accident in Torrance. We can help you follow the rules to obtain your benefits. Call now to learn more.