Company doctors are one of the first medical providers that injured workers encounter after being hurt on the job. Employers lie to injured workers and tell them that they must treat with a company doctor. Employers tell injured workers that they have no choice. It is in the best interest of your employer to send you to the company doctor. However, it is not in your best interest to treat with the company doctor.
Here is why:
- The Company Doctor Does Not Have Your Best Interest In Mind
Company doctors work in clinics all across Texas. The majority of patients seen by company doctors come from employers that transport their injured workers to the company doctor facilities (often referred to as urgent care or occupational clinics). As a result, practically all of the revenue earned by company doctors is generated from the influx of injured workers brought to their clinics by employers. Therefore, the company doctor protects the financial interests of the employer by ensuring that injured workers are treated as quickly and economically as possible, thereby limiting the costs to employers.
- The Company Doctor Will Not Fully Diagnose Your Injury
Misdiagnosing/under-diagnosing your injury is the easiest way for a company doctor to save your employer money. In other words, the company doctor will not disclose the severity of your injury. Often times the company doctor will merely refer to your injury as a strain or a sprain.
The company doctors’ motives for this are clear:
- Treating a strain/sprain is cheaper for the employer. According to medical guidelines, it does not take much treatment to resolve a strain/sprain.
- Recovery time for a strain/sprain minimal. Medical guidelines often dictate that an injured worker can return to work full duty after only a few weeks for certain strains/sprains.
Your diagnostic tests (X-Ray, MRI, Arthogram, CT Scan, EMG) might show severe injuries such as herniated discs, fractures, and nerve damage. It is expensive to treat such injuries. Company doctors often dismiss these serious injuries by labeling them as:
- Degenerative (due to old age)
- Ordinary disease of life
Company doctors label your injury this way to avoid having to provide you with expensive medical treatment. On the other hand, treating strains/sprains is cheap and quick.
III. Your Injury Will Get Denied Proper Medical Care and You Will Miss Out on Appropriate Income Benefits
If you continue to treat with a company doctor, you will most likely find yourself in a situation in which:
- You are not receiving the necessary medical treatment for your injury.
- You are being cheated out of the correct amount of compensation for your lost wages due to not being able to work.
You do not want to find yourself in this situation. This situation will cause you unbelievable frustration and undeserved stress. While your injury gets worse, your checking/savings account will dwindle and your bills will pile up. Do not expect your employer, much less the company doctor, to do the “right thing.”
You should immediately contact a Texas Workers’ Compensation attorney to assist you in exercising your right to obtain medical treatment from a doctor of your choice. Do not wait until it is too late.