One of the first issues that comes up for many people navigating their Nebraska Workers' Compensation case, whether you are a truck driver, nurse, laborer, work in a manufacturing plant, or any other type of work, is whether you should sign the forms the workers' compensation insurance company or your employer may present you with shortly after your injury.
There are two primary types of forms presented early in the processing of your workers' compensation case. First, you may be presented with something called a Form 50. This form gives you the option to elect as your primary treating physician for the case a doctor who has treated you or an immediate family member before the work-related injury occurred. For example, if you see Dr. A regularly for your annual physicals or even just every few years when you are sick, in most (if not all) instances, it is the best choice as an injured worker to write down and elect Dr. A, who is familiar with you, as your treating physician.
If you do not have any doctor who has previously treated you or an immediate family member, then the employer chooses your doctor. Sometimes, even when an injured worker has a primary care physician, they will choose to treat with the company's choice of doctor, which is another box on the Form 50. Sadly, we have heard many stories over the years of people who said they regretted that they had picked that box thinking it would be easier, or, worse, feeling pressure from their employer to pick the employer's doctor. Because the primary treating doctor in a workers' compensation directs your care and can make referrals to specialists and order the testing and treatment that will let you recover, the doctor you choose can make a huge difference in the quality of care you receive.
The second form that most people are presented with at some point is an authorization to release copies of medical records to the worker's compensation insurance carrier. Different companies use different versions of these, and some are more overreaching than others. Whether we advise someone to sign a form like that is very dependent on the facts of the person's situation and what is written on the specific release, as well as what records are being requested.
Your best bet if you are presented with forms to sign and are feeling uncertain is to call one of our experienced lawyers for a free consultation at (800) 665-0064 or (402) 464-0064. This is an issue that comes up in almost every case and one we can certainly help you with.
This blog is intended as general information and not specific legal advice. Each person's case is unique, and the facts and circumstances have to be weighed on a case-by-case basis. Reading this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship.