The earlier an injury is treated, the better. Early treatment is crucial in order to ensure the victim is not in pain and to prevent the injury from worsening. Because early treatment is so important, the law requires employers to provide injured workers with medical treatment as soon as possible. But, what should an employee do if his employer fails to provide medical treatment after an on-the-job injury?
The Employer’s Role After An Injury
Employers must provide their injured workers with any type of medical services, devices, or medications they need as a result of their injuries. Employers are legally entitled to choose the physician that the injured worker will see after a work-related injury. But, employers must make this decision in a timely manner so the employee is not left to suffer with an untreated injury. The law in Oklahoma gives employers five days to select a doctor and provide medical treatment to an injured employee. This five-day time limit begins on the day that the employer first became aware of the employee’s injury.
The Rights of the Injured Worker
Employees have a right to receive any type of reasonable and necessary medical treatment as soon as possible after sustaining an injury at work. But, if an employer is taking too long to provide medical treatment, injured employees are not expected to sit around and wait for the employer to take action.
Once the employer’s five-day time limit is up, the injured employee has a right to choose his own physician without consulting his employer. The employer must pay for the employee’s medical treatment even though they did not choose the physician.
As soon as treatment begins, the injured worker is responsible for closely following all of the doctor’s orders. This means taking medications as prescribed, returning for follow-up visits, and seeing specialists, if recommended. Failing to follow a doctor’s orders could not only affect the worker’s health, it also could hurt their workers’ compensation claim. If someone fails to follow these orders or return to the doctor for appointments, the employer can use this as an excuse to deny benefits.
If you have been injured at work, seek legal representation from the knowledgeable attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. Our team of attorneys will protect your rights throughout the process of filing for workers’ compensation. Call 918-582-2500, toll free (800) 722-8880, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.