If you are injured on the job, do not wait!  Getting immediate medical attention not only protects your health and well being, but it also creates a record of your injury in case the employer later denies that you were injured on the job.  If you designated a primary treating physician before your injury, you may be able to get treatment with your doctor.  If you did not, the company will likely send you to a doctor within their “Medical Provider Network” (MPN).  If your injury is so serious that it requires an emergency room visit, go to the nearest one.  After your condition no longer requires emergency services, you will follow up with a primary treating doctor (either pre-designated by you) or within the employer’s MPN.

Regardless of which doctor you visit, you must tell them that your injury was the result of work and how the injury occurred.   Provide the doctor a complete history of your medical issues.   Make sure you mention every single source of your pain.   For example, even if your pain is concentrated in your back, if you have pain (even a little) in any other body part, make sure to mention it.  Otherwise, the employer will claim that you did not sustain an injury to that part and will deny future treatment.

The first doctor you see usually determines whether or not you need time off from work to recuperate from your injury.   Depending on the doctor’s examination, you will receive one of the following three work orders: One, you can return to work without any restrictions.  Two, you can return to work with modified duties and restrictions (do not lift more than 10 lbs.).  Three, you take time off of work while you are receiving treatment and recovering.  If a doctor has ordered you off work, make sure to keep your employer informed of your medical status.  So long as you keep your employer informed, you cannot legally be fired for injuring yourself, filing a workers’ compensation claim or obeying the doctor’s orders.

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