What to Expect at Your Worker’s Comp Appointment with Your Doctor

What to Expect at Your Worker’s Comp Appointment with Your Doctor

Injuries can happen at any time, but they're especially devastating when they occur at work. Even mild injuries can mean time off work and loss of wages unless you file for worker's compensation.

If you're hurt at work and need medical attention, you should file a worker's compensation claim to ensure you get the treatment you need and compensation for any time lost. However, you’ll need a medical examination after the injury to get the ball rolling.

When you suffer an ankle or foot injury at work, Dr. Jeffrey A. McAlister and the Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute team provide an independent medical exam for worker's compensation.

Dr. McAlister is a board-certified foot and ankle specialist providing various treatments for injuries both on and off the job.

Who needs a worker's comp appointment?

Worker's compensation is a safeguard for employees who suffer an injury or illness on the job. It's also a way for employers to provide incentives to reduce workplace injuries for their employees' long-term well-being.

Workers' compensation has several benefits, the biggest being pay while you're off work for treatment. Other advantages of a worker's compensation program include:

Understanding your job's specific worker's compensation protocol is essential to ensure you know what to do in the event of an injury or illness. Any time you suffer an injury or disease related to your job, the most crucial step is to report it early.

After reporting the injury or illness, your job should assign you a worker's comp claim to get the ball rolling, including a medical exam by an independent medical examiner like Dr. McAlister.

What to expect at your initial consultation

Your worker's comp appointment is similar to a regular doctor's visit, but Dr. McAlister focuses on the work injury. He talks to you about what happened, your symptoms, and any relevant past or current medical history you have.

He then examines the foot or ankle you injured to determine the extent of the injury. Dr. McAlister is looking for the root cause, the extent of the injury, and other related injuries to determine the next course of action.

During the exam, Dr. McAlister looks for signs of a work injury to rule out a misdiagnosis by another provider. He also looks for the following:

Dr. McAlister sends you to the appropriate facilities if you require further testing or imaging. He also discusses his findings and writes reports for your employer and worker's comp insurance company.

Dr. McAlister is a certified independent medical examiner who’s a neutral party. His findings determine if your injury is work-related, your course of treatment, when you can return to work.

It's crucial at your appointment to be honest and open about the injury and not leave out any details. All this information helps Dr. McAlister decide about your treatment plan and return to work.

When can I return to work?

Dr. McAlister individually evaluates every worker's comp patient to determine the proper treatment and recovery time. He works with you, your employer, and the worker's comp company to ensure you're given the tools to improve and return to work as soon as possible.

The type of injury or illness you sustain at your job determines the amount of time off work you require. Minor injuries may only require a few days off, while more severe injuries could mean weeks to months off.

If you require surgery for your injury, the time off work could be longer, depending on what you do and the surgery you need. Your job type also determines how long you'll be off work. For example, if you're a laborer on your feet all day, you may need more time off than someone who works a desk job.

The most critical aspect of returning to work after an injury or illness is to ensure you're fully healed. Returning to work too soon could result in further injury and repeat worker comp claims.

Call Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute at 602-761-7819 to schedule a consultation, or use our online booking tool to request an appointment for a worker's comp evaluation.

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