WORK INJURIES

We have been successfully treating

On-The-Job Accident Injuries

under Worker’s Compensation for over 20  years.

We bill insurance and help you understand your benefits.

This category used to be called “Workman’s Comp” or “Workmans Compensation”. The terminology was changed to the gender-neutral “Worker’s Comp” (Workers Comp) – in order to not be biased to male or female workers.

Definitely. In Oregon, a Doctor of Chiropractic is an actual “Physician”, and can be an Attending Physician for the first 90 days of treatment, even if you have never seen that chiropractor before. We can then request an extension or referral to continue treating. Your employer, HR, or Claims rep legally must not tell you that you cannot go to whoever you want to see. We can also refer you out to other providers you need to see, if necessary.

When you are injured at work, you should report it immediately to your supervisor or HR (Human Resources), who should give you a “Form 801” to fill out. You will then fill out another form, an “827” at the Chiropractor’s office or other office. You should get a COPY of everything that you sign at work, before you walk away from any document procedure, even if it is on a computer. Keep these copies in a folder.  You should almost immediately be given a Claim Number.  Finding out the name of your Work Comp insurer, the adjuster and the claim number is super important. Write all of this down on the outside of your folder, and include the dates that you talk to people.

This is a good question. Have you had a history of this pain before? Have you been treated for it, for example, “Prior Carpal Tunnel” pain? This has to be approached carefully. However – just because you have been treated for back or neck pain once upon a time – or even last year – does not mean you cannot injure your back at work. We will work with you about this. However it is true that sometimes – in the absence of an injury event like a lift, bend, slip, fall or collision – an event of pre-existing pain that has been treated before may not be a claimable work injury.  We will review all of this with you.

Important Question! Some pain does not show up right away, including sprains to ligaments. For example, an ankle sprain may not even swell up until the next day, or nerve pain may not appear for days. But as soon as the pain shows up, you want to talk about it, and potentially report it as soon as possible. Call us and ask – and we will work with you on figuring it out.

That is how on-the-job injuries can get weird. First of all, by not reporting it, you have no proof it happened at work. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim, so we should talk about it right away.  If you do not report a work injury, you might not be able to get Work Comp insurance, and your Private Insurance could also then deny you because it should be a Work Comp injury. You should “Take the High Road” and report the injury.  By the way, if you wait too long to file, you may be directed immediately into a managed care program and have limited choices.

Once you have told your employer you got hurt, you do not have a worker’s comp claim until the forms are filled out and you have been to a chiropractor or any other doctor to have your injury evaluated.

They should not do this, and it’s essentially illegal.  We have heard employers say “it’s too much paperwork”… this is a misrepresentation and is misleading. Your response should be “Legally, I think I should”…  If you don’t file a claim, you have none of the protections from being terminated from your job that you have if you do file. Your employee record will be listed as an injury, but you will get none of the benefits of services like disability that have been deducted from your monthly paycheck.  If you are discouraged or intimidated about filing a claim, you may have legal recourse. You cannot use your private insurance to pay for work injuries – it’s essentially fraud, by the way. So, if an employer asks you to abandon your rights, or commit fraud, you should talk to us or to a lawyer about it.  We can help you get the counseling you need.

No. In order to bill your insurance, we have to certify that work is not involved. Just like Motor Vehicle Injuries, Work Injuries are specifically excluded from “Private Insurance”, and paying out of pocket will let all the timelines for filing expire, and be very expensive for you.  Waiving your rights and paying for it yourself is noble, but it’s not the way to do it, and can lead to very expensive complications further down the road. 

In Oregon, it’s the law that you can go to whatever clinic you choose. You should not be “Steered” to a privately held worker’s comp “factory” clinic or even to “Zoom Care”. You can go to whatever doctor you like, and nobody should tell you that you cannot go to a chiropractor. Again, this would be blatantly illegal and a manipulation of the system, without your best interests in mind.

If you are within 90 days of the beginning of your claim, YES, for the balance of that 90 days. After that, often only by referral by one of the earlier providers.  Also be aware, it may be problematic to have more than three providers on a work comp claim.  Let’s talk about it!

Probably, but let’s check it out. There is a possibility that you are nearing certain limits, or have too many providers on your case, and may need a referral from another doctor (probably not the chiropractor). We can help you obtain that.

No. And remember, there is “Chiropractic Physical Therapy” after all.  We do everything that a physical therapist can do, and more.

Your company’s Work Comp insurer may enroll you into a Work Comp “Managed Care Plan”.  This places limiations on your care, but we can work with it. If you were already an established patient at our clinic, we can continue as a part of that Managed Care Plan, but we must follow their rules. If you are a new patient, we may be limited to the first 90 days of the claim. Talk to us about it.  In most cases, you will be notified by letter… so read your mail! Read and bring in to us any mail or papers received from the insurance company or your HR Department.

Yes, but not “Spa Massage”. “Chiropractic/Medical Massage or Soft Tissue work” is matched specifically to a diagnosis. The massage should be limited to the injury area. You can get 15 minutes of massage in each injury area, and occasionally another 15 to blend, but you should not attempt to use Worker’s Comp for Spa-type “Full-Body” massage. Cases with a lot of “comfort massage” are the kind of claims that get denied.  

Worker’s Comp claims are medical-legal events and can be tricky if you don’t do them by-the-book. We have been reassured that you have rights, and you are protected legally from Employers “getting weird” – and you can’t be fired for being injured at work.   If the employer knows that you simply want to get some treatment so that you can get back to work, they typically will be supportive. A Work Comp claim does not mean you are “Suing somebody”. By the way, if you are scolded, fired,  discouraged or intimidated, you definitely have legal recourse, and you still don’t have to “sue somebody”. We are not lawyers, but we can help you get answers. Feel free to talk to us about this if you are worried.