What Information Do You Need to Provide to Your Doctor When You’re Injured At Work
When an injured worker files a Pennsylvania workers compensation claim, the injured worker has the burden of presenting unequivocal medical evidence to establish that an injury occurred that it is causally connected to the injured worker’s employment when the injury is not “obvious.” In most cases, the Employer will have their own doctor who may offer an opinion that the injured worker’s injury is not connected to work. In that scenario, a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Judge will be required to decide which doctor he/she believes. In determining the credibility of opposing doctors and their relative medical opinions, Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Judges consider many things including the doctor’s knowledge of the Claimant’s medical history. If a physician has not had the opportunity to review all of the Claimant’s relevant medical records or if the physician does not have a full and accurate history on the injured worker that physician’s opinion may not be as credible as the physician who did have that information. The Courts have found that a physician’s opinion, based on a false or incomplete medical history, could be incompetent and not sufficient to satisfy an Injured Workers’ burden of proof in the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Case.
It is important for an injured worker to understand that providing a full and complete medical history is important when meeting with a doctor. While it can’t be expected that the injured worker will have a clear recollection of every doctor’s appointment they have ever attended, it is important that they provide as much information as possible, especially if the injured worker sustained any previous injury to the body part affected in the current work related incident no matter how minor. Don’t assume that the employer will never find out about a previous injury, because they will. Remember – even if you had a previous injury to a body part injured in a current work related incident, you can-still be eligible for Pennsylvania workers compensation. An aggravation of a preexisting condition is considered a new Pennsylvania Work injury. What can be fatal to your case is if you fail to divulge to your doctor that you had a previous injury to affected body part, because if your physician renders an opinion without knowing that information, she could be found less credible by a Workers’ Compensation Judge than an employer’s physician who had that information.
If you have any questions on how you should proceed in treating for a Pennsylvania work related injury, you should speak to an experienced workers compensation lawyer.