When you’re hurt or sick, you need to be able to rely on your doctor’s judgment and care. Unfortunately, when you’ve been injured on the job and need to go through workers’ compensation in New Jersey to get benefits, your employer gets to pick your doctor.
Frankly, whether your employer lets you pick from a list of physicians or just sends you to their in-house doctor, you don’t have a lot of options. That means learning how to navigate these visits while protecting your future. Here are some tips:
Never forget who employs this doctor
No matter how caring, concerned or personable the physician is, don’t ever forget that they probably derive a lot of their business from your employer. That income stream would quickly dry up if they started being too “employee-friendly.” They will be looking for any viable reason to put you back to work or diminish your claim.
Never denigrate your employer
You’d be surprised what can find its way into your medical records, and complaining about your employer may give you the appearance of a disgruntled employee who is exaggerating their symptoms to “get even” with the boss.
Never go to a doctor’s visit alone
It’s always wise to have a witness in the room who can testify later (if needed) about the doctor’s attitude or approach to your care. The mere presence of another person could keep the doctor on their best behavior.
Workers’ compensation claims are supposed to be easy — but the reality may play out very differently than what you expect. If that happens, learn more about your rights and your options for an appeal.