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Getting back to work after suffering workplace injuries

According to a recent report, numerous individuals in California who have been injured while on-the-job are struggling to get approval to return to work. After workplace injuries occur, there are those who may qualify for disability; however, there are others who are able to sufficiently recover and resume the full functions of their jobs. Why are those who want to go back to work having such a hard time getting the help and approval they need in order to make this happen?

The state's workers' compensation system is accused of denying or dragging out medical care for those who have suffered workplace injuries. This is leaving these individuals alone and fighting insurance companies for coverage. Without the coverage, they are unable to receive the treatments and medications necessary for full recovery, therefore making them ineligible to return to work.

One individual recently shared his story. A 13-year veteran with the police department in Napa was in an accident with a drunk driver while he was on patrol. He was placed on leave and has since had to deal with chronic pain in his neck and back. He and his doctor have submitted over 300 requests to workers' comp to approve treatment and medication, but these requests keep being denied or take months to obtain approval. Had treatment been approved in a timely manner, this individual's physician believes that he would already be back at work instead of facing a medical retirement.

When workplace injuries occur, those affected can be devastated physically, mentally and financially. Gaining access to necessary treatments and medications should not be so hard, yet so many individuals in California are finding this not be the case. With the right assistance, employees who have been injured while on the job can fight insurance providers for full and complete coverage so that they can get the medical and financial help that they need in order to recover and return to work -- if desired. Further action can also be taken against those individuals deemed responsible for their injuries in an effort to seek compensation for any losses sustained.

Source: NBC Bay Area, "Workers' Comp Drags Out Medical Care, Injured Workers and their Doctors Say", Liz Wagner, Michael Bott and Mark Villarreal, Aug. 22, 2016

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