Admission of Liability: Why Getting Your Medical Treatment and Bills Paid Doesn’t Mean Your Case has been “Admitted”
There is a very common problem that I see with many different clients. They get hurt at work but do not miss more than a day or two because of the injury. Maybe it’s a small injury, so they don’t want to miss any time, or maybe they really need the job so they are worried about making waves. Either way, they get the claim started but still don’t want to “cause any trouble,” so when the insurance company pays for all of their doctors’ visits, they assume they have admitted liability for the injury and that the claim is moving forward as expected. This is common in cases where the injured party has not missed three days of work or three shifts.
The problem with this scenario is that, in Colorado, paying for your medical care does not necessarily mean there has been an admission of liability for your injury. In fact, the insurance companies do this on purpose because they want to control your choice of physician.
When someone gets hurt at work, very often the insurance company wants to tell you which doctor to use. There are a few different reasons for this, but mostly it is because they want to work with physicians or medical groups that they are familiar with and who understand their concerns.
Another important thing to know is that if you have not missed more than 3 days for your injury, the insurance company can claim that any missed time later on in your case is unrelated to your work injury, and therefore not covered by your claim. If you feel like you need time off or are restricted in your movement in any way, be honest with your doctor and follow their instructions on missing time and limiting your work activity for your injury.
In most cases, the insurance company will even keep paying for your treatment when you have a lawyer all the way up until you have your first hearing for the same reason, they want to be able to control the choice of physician. If they do not agree to pay, the injured worker gets to pick his or her own doctor, which is the last thing the insurance company wants.
This matter is one of the most important reasons to have an attorney who is experienced with Workers’ Compensation. You should ask a lawyer you are thinking about using how many Comp cases they have had and how many times they have stood before a Work Comp judge. Someone who has a great deal of experience in the system knows all of the doctors an insurance company will try to use and will know how to get you the care you need most efficiently, saving you time and money while also making your claim more valuable.
Blogs like this can be a great starting point to understanding the Work Comp system, but they cannot cover every individual case. Every Workers’ Compensation case is different and most Workers’ Compensation attorneys (myself included) will evaluate your case for free, all it takes is a call. If you have been hurt and want someone to fight for you, call me at 303-792-5595 or submit a request using the button on the right side of the page to have someone from our office contact you.