Future Medical Expenses
Who pays for your future medical expenses. As a general rule, if the insurance company has admitted your claim is work related, then you have lifetime medical benefits for your work injury. This sounds great, but it is not as great as it sounds. If you are working for the same employer and you have additional problems in the future, then you should report it as a new work injury.
However, if you are not working for the same employer, and two years from now you start having additional problems, then it will be difficult for your doctor to say that your current problems are related back to your original work injury. Since your work injury, you may have worked somewhere else or perhaps had another injury. If the workers compensation doctor is not willing to say that your current problems are related back to your original work injury, then chances are that the insurance company will deny your claim and not provide you with additional medical care. Also, the insurance company can send your records for a medical review or have you examined by another doctor. If either of these doctors say that your current problems are not related, then chances are they will deny your claim. Yes, you can file a claim for medical benefits, but often it is easier and less expensive to use your health insurance if you have it. Sometimes it makes sense to keep your medical file open and other times it does not. Which is what I will discuss in the next chapter about settlements.