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What is the biggest mistake you can make in a workers’ compensation claim

I believe the biggest mistake a worker can make in a claim is to let the company doctor treat them. In Kentucky, a worker is allowed to pick the doctor they want to treat them. Many of my clients tell me they have been told by their employer that they had to go to the company doctor for treatment. But, this is wrong pursuant to the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act, KRS 342.020(1).
Many workers just assume you have to treat with the company doctor. They never take the time to get free advice from an attorney or the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims at 502-564-5550. This can cost them time, money and frustration.
Why is it so bad to go to the company doctor? There is a reason why the company hires a particular doctor to treat its workers. It knows that doctor will save the company money, not protect the health of its workers. The company knows some doctors do not like to order expensive medical treatment, do not like to keep employees off work, and do not like to assign high impairment ratings that result in large awards. These doctors save the company money, and those doctors are the ones that become the company doctors. The company is really managing the costs of your claim when it tells you to go to a certain doctor, not trying to help you get better. Most injured employees do not realize this fact, and when they do, it has already cost them time to get reasonable treatment and diminished the value of their claim.
What doctor should an injured worker use? I tell my clients to see their family physician. Those doctors are more concerned with making you get better than getting more referrals from the company. If your family doctor does not accept workers’ compensation claims, almost any other doctor, even one you just pick out of the phone book, is better than using the company doctor