In a compensable workers' compensation claim, the insurance company must authorize medical treatment reasonably necessary to effect a cure, provide relief, or lessen the period of disability. The North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act states that medical treatment includes "medical, surgical, hospital, nursing, and rehabilitative services, including, but not limited to, attendant care services prescribed by a health care provider authorized by the employer or subsequently by the Commission, vocational rehabilitation, and medicines, sick travel, and other treatment, including medical and surgical supplies."
The insurance company is initially allowed to direct your medical treatment. You may believe you are not receiving the proper treatment you need to fully recover from your injury. There may be long delays in your treatment. You may not be satisfied with your doctors or their opinions. Or, the insurance company may outright deny all or parts of your medical treatment. In such cases, litigation over the issue of your future medical treatment may be required. You need to retain an experienced workers' compensation lawyer to protect your right to receive medical treatment.
You are entitled to request a comprehensive second opinion of your compensable injuries. The insurance company likely will not grant your request for a second opinion, or it may propose doctors who will not provide a fair opinion of your medical condition. You need an attorney to identify credible second opinion providers and file a Motion requesting a second opinion. Once a Motion has been filed, the North Carolina Industrial Commission will decide whether or not you are entitled to receive a comprehensive second opinion.
You may also want to request a change of your medical provider. Once again, you will need a lawyer to identify a new medical provider and file a Motion. Injured workers seeking a change of medical providers must meet a difficult legal standard. The Olsinski Law Firm can help you evaluate whether you should seek a change of medical provider. We can then file the necessary legal pleadings on your behalf.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission has specific policies for litigating and resolving medical disputes. Legal pleadings and briefs may be required, and your medical providers may be deposed. You will likely need legal representation to help you navigate any medical disputes that may arise in your claim. Our attorney who is board certified in North Carolina workers' compensation law will aggressively represent you in any disputes that arise over your medical treatment.
There is a two-year statute of limitations on your entitlement to receive medical compensation for your compensable claim. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can protect your right to receive future medical treatment by helping prevent the statute of limitations from expiring on your right to receive future medical treatment. With certain injuries, you may need to file documents to extend the statute of limitations for future medical care. Medical evidence is often necessary before the Industrial Commission will agree to extend the statute of limitations for future medical treatment. We will assist with compiling the necessary medical evidence in support of your claim for extending the statute of limitations on your right to receive medical treatment.
The Olsinski Law Firm can help you evaluate the medical portion of your workers' compensation claim. Contact us for a free and confidential initial consultation.