Today’s post comes from guest author Kristina Brown Thompson, from The Jernigan Law Firm.
Last month our firm held a planning retreat in the beautiful town of Chapel Hill. We reaffirmed our firm’s slogan: “Accidents Happen, Sometimes You Need Help.”
Frequently we speak to injured workers during our free consultation about getting medical treatment. It’s frustrating and scary for an injured person to have to wait for authorization for surgery or a medical referral. Treatment delays are inefficient for everyone. It delays the recovery and, as a result, the return to work. Our goal is to expedite medical care when possible by following up with the workers’ compensation adjuster to have treatment approved and, if necessary, file a motion with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
In a case I had last year, we were hired because the insurance company was dragging its feet authorizing an orthopaedic back doctor. After several communications, the adjuster agreed the referral to an orthopaedic back doctor was authorized. Sadly, the “orthopaedic doctor” that was authorized by the adjuster was actually a gynolcologist-obstetrician for my male client! Furthermore, it took several additional contacts to finally correct the situation and get my client to the appropriate doctor. Finally, my client was evaluated by an orthopaedic doctor, received medical treatment, and was also able to continue working.
Our firm sees these problems every day. I believe we (injured workers’ lawyers and insurance companies) should have a common goal: Recovery and return to work. But “sometimes you need help” to get to that point.