Workers' Compensation Medical Benefits
Under the workers' compensation law, you are entitled to medical treatment under the direction and supervision of a physician, chiropractor, nurse or hospital. These medical services must be provided to you for as long as necessary, even for lifetime.
Medical benefits do not end, even if you no longer work for the employer. If you leave Florida or the U.S., medical care must still be provided. Randy Zeldin has obtained medical benefits for injured workers as far away as Australia and Brazil!
The medical benefits available are very broad, but depend on the nature of the injury. Many times, workers' compensation attorney Randy Zeldin will have to litigate the need for medical care, before a Judge of Compensation Claims. Following are some of the many medical issues that Randy Zeldin has litigated in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale:
- An appropriate specialist such as an orthopedist or neurologist
Usually the first stage of medical care is with a primary care provider (“PCP”). It is often important to get more specialized care, such as an orthopedist or neurologist.
- Aide and attendant care to help with activities of daily living
Someone recovering from a surgical procedure may need a nurse for wound care or unskilled services to help with dressing, bathing and other activities of daily living. Persons with serious, permanent injuries, can require aid and attendant care for a life time.
- Change of doctor and second opinions
An injured worker is allowed only one change of physician, during the course of the case. A “second opinion” is allowable is prescribed and requested by the current treating physician.
- Chiropractic and physical therapy care
Physical therapy must be prescribed and monitored by the treating medical provider. Workers’ compensation insurance carriers sometimes try to deny or short prescribed physical therapy.
- Prescription medications and prosthetic devices (e.g. orthotic shoes).
Medications and prosthetic devices must also be prescribed by a treating physician.
- Mileage to and from medical providers
The workers’ compensation carrier must reimburse the injured worker for mileage to and from all medical appointments, but not to pharmacies.
- Housing modifications, such as ramps, modified toilets and showers
For severely injured workers, it can be necessary to modify the house for use of wheel chairs, ease of use of toilet and shower facilities, etc.
- Psychological and psychiatric care
Under Florida law, psychological or psychiatric injuries are not recognized. However, a psychological injury, such as depression, which is a consequence of a physical injury, can be allowed if prescribed by the treating physician.
- Emergency care, including hospital visits
Many times it is clear and obvious as to what constitutes an “emergency,” (a fall from a roof). Other times, the necessity for emergency care must be decided by a Judge of Compensation Claims, on a case by case basis.
Randy Zeldin has been a practicing workers' compensation attorney in Boca Raton and South Florida for over 25 years. He is very familiar with most of the doctors and medical providers in this area. Counseling injured workers' as to the best medical care available, is one of the most important roles of a workers' compensation attorney.
If you have been injured on the job, you may have a valid workers' compensation claim. Please contact Randy Zeldin for a free case review.