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The right to medical care after a work injury

When a California employee suffers a work injury, it is his or her right to have access to adequate medical care. Through workers' compensation benefits, the individual should be provided with treatment specific to the work injury and compensation for any expenses incurred. An injured worker has the right to treatment from a doctor within the workers' compensation system, including therapy and rehabilitation. 

Based on a set of guidelines adopted by the workers' compensation system, the treatment provided for an injured or ill employee should be proved to be effective and useful for the specific injury. Occasionally, a worker may require additional medical treatment after the claim has been settled. In this situation, it is possible that guidelines could allow for additional assistance, but it may be useful to have assistance from an attorney experienced with the nuances of workers' compensation law. 

After an injury, a workers' compensation claims administrator should authorize medical treatment within one business day. An employee has the right to immediate medical treatment, even if his or her claim has yet to be approved. Any treatment needed should continue as long as it is medically necessary, although there are limits to specific types of treatments, such as chiropractor visits.

The guidelines regarding medical treatment for a work injury may be difficult to understand. An employee may take action to better understand his or her rights under California law regarding medical care, including the length and type required to treat a specific injury. The workers' compensation process can be complex and lengthy, but understanding these benefits can be a useful manner by which to secure applicable financial assistance and medical treatment.

Source: dir.ca.gov, "Answers to frequently asked questions about workers' compensation for employees", Accessed on Feb. 2, 2015

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