When you or a loved one have sustained a work injury, you should not have to worry about getting the care you need. Workers compensation insurance should take care of you. However, we are learning that the state agency responsible for ensuring workers get the treatment they need after an on-the-job injury is ignoring conditions that delay needed care. At the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, our Los Angeles workers compensation lawyers are ready to help you if you have been injured at work.
When you are hurt at work, there should not be a delay when it comes to receiving compensation for your medical bills and lost income. That is part of the agreement you have when you take a job – that you are protected when hurt on the job.
Unfortunately, there are times when disputes arise between an injured worker and their employer (or insurer) over whether the incident was work-related, the severity of their injuries, and the treatment required. When this happens, the injured worker is allowed to request a review of the case from a doctor. They can make this request through the Division of Workers’ Compensation, part of the Department of Industrial Relations.
However, a new report says that workers are facing months-long delays when these requests are made.
An auditor’s report says that the delays are due to too few doctors doing the reviews. From 2013 to 2018, requests for these medical reviews rose by 37%, but the number of doctors doing the reviews dropped by 12%.
When a worker requests a medical review, they should be offered a panel of three doctors to choose from. In many cases, none of the doctors are available within 60 days. At that point, the injured worker can request a panel of doctors to attempt to speed the process up. Most of the time, nobody from the second panel is available within 60 days either.
While the auditor’s report offered several suggestions to fix the problems, this all boils down to the fact that injured workers are not being treated well. When someone is experiencing an injury and having a dispute with their employer, they need to have the matter resolved sooner rather than later.
If you or someone you love has been injured at work and are struggling to receive the compensation you are owed, you need to seek legal assistance. At the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, our qualified and experienced team is going to get to the bottom of your case and work to secure the benefits you deserve. This could include: