My workers’ compensation claim was accepted, but now I’m having other medical problems and the insurance company refuses to provide medical treatment
Our bodies are complicated machines, and just like any other machine, all of the parts work together. When one part suffers an injury, it’s common for other parts to become damaged as a result. Your body might have to compensate for the injury in a way that causes you pain or other symptoms later on, and you may not even realize that those symptoms are related to your workplace injury. For example, an injury to your knee or ankle may affect the way you walk or stand, which can throw your body out of its normal alignment and cause you back problems. An injury to one arm might cause the other arm to become injured because you are having to use it so much more and it is overworked. Sometimes, these new injuries or symptoms can be so bad that you can no longer keep working, even if your original injury didn’t keep you out of work.
When an insurance company accepts your workers’ compensation claim, it is admitting that your injury was due to your employment and that you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. However, insurance companies often refuse to pay for medical treatment needed for parts of the body other than the specific part that was injured. Fortunately, North Carolina law provides that an injured employee is entitled to treatment for parts of the body that were not originally injured unless the employer and insurance company can prove through medical evidence that the symptoms you have are not related to the original injury. Unfortunately, this does not prevent the insurance company from refusing to provide the treatment, and you will likely have to appeal that decision to the N.C. Industrial Commission to get the treatment you need. An appeal requires that an injured worker file a request with the Industrial Commission, and typically involves a formal hearing where witnesses will testify and evidence will be presented. The insurance company will have its lawyers there to argue that your pain or other symptoms aren’t related to your injury, and that you shouldn’t receive the medical care you need. The legal issues are complex, the stakes couldn’t be higher, and you should strongly consider hiring an experienced and dedicated workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights. If you find yourself in this situation, contact Miller Law Group for a free consultation on your case.