As in other personal injury claims, medical record review is an important part of workers’ compensation litigation. The work-related injury must be well-documented in the claimant’s medical records. It is of utmost importance that every time a claimant sees a doctor, the doctor knows that he/she is treating a work-related injury. The claimant should also keep a detailed list of all physicians seen for the injury. This will help ensure that a comprehensive and accurate medical history of the injury can be obtained later.
Once the treatment for the work-related injury is completed, an independent medical examiner will examine the claimant and determine whether there is any permanent partial disability due to the injury. Here, the medical examiner would examine the claimant, interview the claimant and also review the relevant medical records that document the injury. Generally, the claimant may have to undergo two independent medical exams – one at the insurer’s expense and one at the claimant’s expense – before the workers’ compensation commission allows compensation based on the disability.
Many claimants depend on a reliable workers’ compensation attorney to represent them so that the claim processing goes smoothly. A lawyer can be immensely helpful in scenarios such as the following.
- When the injury is so severe that surgery is required.
- When the injury is moderate or severe and may cause partial disability or reduced capacity.
- When the injury is such that the claimant is unable to return to his/her original job, but may be able to work in some other job.
- When the injury does not allow the claimant to work regularly in any capacity.
- When there are pre-existing disabilities.
- When benefits are denied.
Claimants look up to their representative attorneys for reliable legal advice regarding whether they need legal assistance in pursuing the claim; whether an appeal of a decision not in the claimant’s favor will be successful; and whether the injuries sustained are not serious enough to require representation by a lawyer.
Workers’ compensation lawyers can utilize medical record review for attorneys, a valuable service provided by a dedicated medical record review company, to ensure that all relevant medical records are carefully reviewed and vital medical data extracted on which the lawyer can build his/her case.