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How Long Do I Have To See A Doctor After A Work Injury?

Colburn Law

How Long Do I Have To See A Doctor After A Work Injury?After a workplace accident, it’s common to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. You may wonder whether you should go to the doctor and, in some cases, how long you have to seek treatment. However, seeking medical attention as soon as possible not only aids in your recovery but also strengthens your position in a subsequent workers’ compensation claim.

Are You Required to See a Doctor After a Workplace Accident?

While you are not specifically required to seek medical attention following a workplace incident, doing so is in your best interest for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that any injuries are promptly and properly addressed, preventing them from worsening. Secondly, if you plan on filing a workers’ compensation claim, medical records serve as vital evidence of the injuries that you sustained and the treatment that you require.

You should seek medical care as soon as possible; delaying treatment could diminish the relevance of your results. Moreover, you are required to file a workers’ comp claim within one year of the injury; by seeking care right away, you can set the process in motion before this deadline passes.

You have the right to select your initial healthcare provider immediately after the accident. However, ongoing treatment must be from a provider in the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) provider network.

The Importance of Medical Evidence in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

In a workers’ compensation claim, medical evidence can form the cornerstone of your claim. These records, including diagnosis, treatment plans, and follow-up care, provide an objective account of the injury’s nature, severity, and the anticipated recovery process. This evidence is crucial not only for validating the claim but also for establishing a clear link between the workplace accident and your injuries.

Additionally, your medical records will also inform your eligibility for benefits. They detail the specific care that you will require moving forward and any long-term effects of your injuries. This information is essential for determining the type and value of benefits that you receive so that you can receive the right support now and in the future.

What to Do After Visiting a Doctor for Your Work Injury

After seeking medical attention, taking the following steps can help protect your rights and lay the groundwork for a potential workers’ compensation claim:

  • Report the Incident to Your Employer: Promptly inform your employer about the accident and your injuries. After you file this report, your employer will then initiate the workers’ compensation claims process by filing a claim with L&I.
  • Gather as Much Evidence as Possible: Document everything related to your accident and injuries, including photos of the accident scene, witness information, and a detailed account of the incident. Make sure to gather your medical records when they are available.
  • Contact a Lawyer: Engaging with an Seattle workers’ compensation attorney can provide substantial benefits to your claim. A lawyer will help you navigate Washington’s workers’ compensation system, ensuring your rights are protected and advocating on your behalf for the benefits you deserve.

Remember, you are not alone if you have suffered a workplace injury. A Seattle personal injury attorney can guide you through every step of your claim, helping you secure the support and compensation necessary to facilitate your recovery. As soon as possible following the accident, contact a Seattle workers’ comp lawyer to discuss your next steps.