Orthopedic Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?
If you get injured while on the job, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, or “workers comp,” may help pay for medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. It may also provide partial lost wages if the injury causes you to miss work. All employers are required to carry coverage, but requirements may vary by location. In today’s post we cover what every worker should know about orthopedic injuries and Workers’ Compensation.
Report an Incident to Your Employer ASAP
If you experience a workplace injury or occupational illness, you should immediately report the incident to your employer. Under Louisiana law, an employee has one year from the time of accident to file a claim for medical benefits. If a report isn’t made before the deadline, he or she might not receive benefits.
After an injury or illness is reported, business owners and employees should follow the reporting process outlined by their Insurance provider. Typically, the Worker’s Compensation claim must be approved, and often a case worker and adjuster will be assigned to manage the care of orthopedic injuries and Workers’ Compensation.
Visit an approved Healthcare Professional
Injured or ill employees should seek medical assistance immediately – any delays can put their health and benefits at risk. The doctor will then provide a medical report to file with the employee’s injury claim.
Pontchartrain Orthopedic and Sports Medicine is skilled in dealing with orthopedic injuries and Workers’ compensation claims and can help your experience run smoothly. We also have a Saturday Walk In Clinic for workers who need care outside of traditional weekday hours.
“We see a large number of Workers’ Comp cases, and we’re adept at handling them,” said Dr. Michael Zeringue. “We have learned the ins and outs of claims. We know how to file the correct paperwork, and we know your rights every step of the way.”
It’s important to note that it is the right of the injured patient to choose where they want to be treated, though some non-emergency services may require prior approval. That’s another area where an experienced provider like POSM can make things go more smoothly.
“We can help them out,” said Dr. Zeringue. “If things aren’t completed correctly, it delays treatment. We have a streamlined process in place for filing the series of paperwork needed, so things are done in a very timely fashion.”
“If things aren’t completed correctly, it delays treatment. We have a streamlined process in place for filing the series of paperwork needed, so things are done in a very timely fashion.”
- Michael Zeringue, MD, MPH
What is considered a workplace injury?
Injuries or illnesses that are a direct result of work activities, materials used on the job or equipment used on the job are generally considered workplace injuries. However, those injuries must be within the scope of the employee’s job. An injury that results from horseplay in the workplace, intoxication on the job or intentional negligence by the employee may not be eligible.
That covers a very wide range of incidents, including some patients may not consider, such as an automobile accident in the course of their work.
Does Treatment for a Worker’s Comp Claim Differ from other Types of Patients?
From the patient’s perspective there is no difference where orthopedic injuries and Workers’ Compensation are involved. We are experienced at handling the paperwork to make the treatment go smoothly and timely. We can also push to help with coverage for related injuries that may not be immediately apparent or follow-up treatment that is necessary.
“With some injuries, it’s not just one problem,” said Dr. Zeringue. “In a fall, you can injure your back, your shoulder, your knee. We can triage all that and decide what’s most important to handle first. We are a one-stop shop for full musculoskeletal treatment. We can do anything from helping with durable medical equipment to physical therapy to any kind of surgeries or injections that may be needed.”
What Role Does the Doctor Play in the Patient’s Return to Work Process?
Once treatment is finished, the doctor must approve the patient’s return to work. This may be a full return to work when treatment is complete or a partial return to work with modified duties to fit the injury and recovery timetables, depending on the patient and employer.
Need Treatment for a Work Related Injury?
Dealing with orthopedic injuries and Workers’ compensation claims can seem like an overwhelming combination. If you or someone you know has been injured at work, you should first report it to your employer if it is a non-emergency situation. Remember that you have limited time under law to file a claim for Workers’ Compensation, and some non-emergency procedures may have to be pre-approved.
Once that’s done, contact us to schedule a consultation. We’ll handle the paperwork and get you back to work as quickly as possible.
About the Doctor
Michael Zeringue, MD, MPH is a triple board certified physician in Pain Management, Sports Medicine and Family Medicine and specializes in interventional spine and ultrasound guided injections. Dr. Zeringue earned his medical degree from Tulane University in New Orleans and completed his internship and residency in Family Medicine at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Following residency Dr. Zeringue finished two separate fellowships in Sports Medicine and Pain Management. He is a life long resident of the New Orleans area and served for several years as team physician for Brother Martin High School in New Orleans.
This website is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, medical diagnosis, professional opinion, treatment or services to you or any other person. Through this website and links to other websites, Pontchartrain Orthopedics & Sports Medicine provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this website, or through links to other sites, is not a substitute for medical care. You should not use this information in place of a visit, call, consultation or the advice of your healthcare provider. Pontchartrain Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.