In 2013, rotator cuff injuries caused nearly two million Americans to visit an orthopedic doctor. Many rotator cuff injuries are work related, and they can get worse if they are not treated quickly. Other examples of workers’ compensation cases that would require an orthopedic doctor include:

  • Sprains
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Spine issues
  • Tennis Elbow

This list is filled with the kinds of injuries that keep workers on the sidelines for weeks, months, and even years. Too many workers try to handle their workers’ compensation cases on their own, which can be a huge mistake. There are plenty of reasons why your orthopedic workers compensation claim needs to be handled by an attorney.

Employers Will Try To Get Out Of Paying Claims

Many workers do not find out that their employers did not have worker’s compensation coverage until they get injured. Some employers without workers’ compensation coverage will make an offer to pay for the medical treatment themselves to avoid fines and possible prosecution. Any attorney will immediately tell you that this is a bad idea because:

  • The statute of limitations on workers compensation cases in New York State is two years and a promise to pay for damages does not extend that statute of limitations.
  • Companies that do not have workers compensation insurance are cheating the system and need to be punished.
  • The Workers Compensation Tribunal in New York State handles all workers compensation cases.

An attorney can help you to avoid making the common mistakes that many workers make when they trust their employers too much.

Pitfalls Workers Need To Avoid With An Orthopedic Injury

Workers should never get workers’ compensation advice from their employers. Once a worker gets the information for filing a claim from their employer, they should hire an experienced attorney to give advice.

Workers should never wait to file their claims. The two-year statute of limitations is something that New York courts stand by, and workers who miss that window will miss out on their compensation.

One of the most common pitfalls to an orthopedic workers compensation case is not fully documenting every doctor’s visit, and not keeping an organized file of every document the worker receives. Orthopedic cases tend to get complicated, and your attorney will need all of the help they can get to defend your case.

Independent Medical Examiners

In New York State, insurance companies use Independent Medical Examiners (IME) to challenge claims made by workers’ doctors. There are documented instances where workers went to see an IME, the IME said one thing during the examination, but a completely different report was filed.

For example, a doctor examining a driver for a New York City plumbing company said to the worker that his injuries appeared to be significant. But when the doctor submitted his report to the insurance company, he said the worker was able to start working again immediately.

These situations with IMEs making claims for orthopedic injuries difficult, happen all the time in New York State. While judges have the ability to disregard a medical examination done by a doctor known to give false information, an IME can still cause a worker’s case to be delayed for months, or even years. That is why having a good attorney on your side can mean the difference between getting your compensation and having financial problems.

A good workers compensation attorney can warn New York workers about situations such as a medical examination by an IME and prepare the worker to defend themselves. Many workers record their IME examinations on their smartphones, and their attorneys use those recordings to contradict the reports submitted to the insurance companies. It is a cat and mouse game that puts the financial future of an injured worker at risk.

Workers compensation cases can be complex and frustrating under normal circumstances, but orthopedic injuries can enhance those problems. If a worker wants to get the compensation they deserve for their orthopedic injury, then hiring a good workers compensation lawyer is their only option.

Author Bio:
Tom Moverman established the Lipsig Bronx Firm with Harry Lipsig and his partners in 1989; The firm’s focus is in personal injury, construction accidents, car accidents, products liability, and medical malpractice.