I’m sure many people have been hurt on the job at work and never even thought to file a worker’s compensation claim. And those are the obvious cases like a box falling on you in the warehouse. But what about those conditions that are not as much the result of accidents but maybe bad work office habits such as, not taking breaks, repetitive typing for hours on end, or even stress related psychological disorders such as loss of sleep.
For California, worker’s compensation is well funded, but the process can be consuming for the patient and the doctor, and is needlessly complicated by paperwork and rules. I will go over some of the things that need to be done if you suspect you or a loved one has a work-related injury.
First of all, it is not as easy as saying you have an illness and getting a doctor to help. The company that you work for has 5 days to provide you with a doctor from their list of Medical Provider Network (the MPN rule in california). IF they did not give you a doctor within 5 days you are exempt from the MPN rule and can see the doctor of your choosing to handle the worker’s comp case.
If your doctor is not in network for your particular companies worker’s compensation insurance company (worker’s comp insurance companies are different than your health insurance), your employer will give you a doctor from their list. AFTER 30 days, the patient may tell the company they do not wish to see the company provided doctor for whatever reason. The company will give you the listing of their doctors and the employee may choose to say that they do not wish to see the doctor’s on that list because (and the reason is very important) of the office location being “out of the way”. This will get you exemption from the MPN rule.
Remember that the reason for worker’s compensation in the state of California is so that worker’s cannot sue an employer for negligence or liability accidents. For trading in the right to sue, the state has created a large fund of money to pay worker’s comp claims. Many people think I don’t want to start trouble at the office… Well that might have been true years before worker’s comp where suing your company was a possibility, but now it not a factor as you can see the state funds most of it. In fact, any good Human Resources agent knows that a healthy worker is an efficient worker and should want to help you fix your medical problems.
It used to be that is was honorable and manly not to complain about accidents at work, but if you think about this: the main drama and tragedy of 21st century America is that people get sick and/or hurt and the medical burden turns into a financial crisis leading to the ruin of many families. Today, if you don’t take care of your health it can be a great burden to the rest of the family. Chronic pain is frustrating, depressing, and life-draining. Why allow those conditions to worsen when the state has an institution in place to help get you treatment.