My Doctor Says I Need Surgery, But Workers Comp Won't Approve It | The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller, LLC
The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller, LLC
Call Us For A Free Consultation 404-832-5957
We Stand By The Injured,
Every Step Of The Way
Attorney Image
  • Super Lawyers
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb | Top Attorney | Workers compensation
  • Martindale-Hubbell | AV Preeminent | Peer rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
  • BBB | Accredited Business
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • GTLA | Georgia Trial Lawyers Association | Protecting the Right to Trial by Jury
  • GeorgiaTrend | Legal Elite

My Doctor Says I Need Surgery, But Workers Comp Won't Approve It

doctor-blog.jpg

Q: I was hurt at work. Does my employer have to pay for my medical expenses?

A: This is a more complicated issue than it may initially seem. In an Atlanta workers' compensation case, an employee may be entitled to paid medical care, but only if certain conditions are met, such as the employee giving the employer timely notice of the accident and seeing a physician who is authorized by the employer or its workers' compensation carrier.

Q: In my situation, I was hurt on the job a few weeks ago and immediately told my employer what happened. They sent me to the doctor, and everything seemed to be going fine until last week, when my doctor told me that I need surgery due to a herniated disc. My employer's workers' compensation carrier has refused to authorize the surgery. They say the surgery is related to a pre-existing condition - specifically, a previous work injury several years ago. To my knowledge, that old case was closed, and I didn't receive anything other than temporary disability benefits and paid medical expenses for a few trips to the doctor back then. Is there anything I can do?

A: A woman in a recent case decided by the State Board of Workers' Compensation had a similar situation. She had been hurt at work at a previous job but had returned to work without restrictions. She then fell at work, hurting her back, and it was determined that she needed surgery. The second employer did not want to pay for the surgery, insisting that the woman's need for the treatment resulted from the first injury, rathe than the second. The administrative law judge agreed with the woman and said that the surgery should have been authorized. Unfortunately, the appellate division disagreed.

In denying the woman's claim for additional medical treatment at the second employer's expense, the appellate division noted that the employee had the burden of proving that the recommended surgery was related to the compensable injury. The employer had referred the worker for an independent medical evaluation, and that doctor had opined that the employee's symptoms could be related to her pre-existing low back problems as opposed to the newer injury at the employer's place of business. Additionally, the appellate division found that the employee was not a credible witness, due to multiple inconsistencies between her deposition and her testimony at the hearings before the board. Thus, the appellate division found that the worker had failed to prove that the surgery was necessitated by the second injury.

Q: How can I contact an attorney to find out more about how an old injury or another pre-existing condition can affect a workers' compensation claim for a subsequent injury to the same part of the body?

A: At the Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller, LLC, we handle many types of Atlanta workers' compensationcases, and we'll be glad to talk to you about your case. Call us at 678-894-4758 to schedule a free consultation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Brand Footer

7100 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 310
Atlanta, Georgia 30328

Phone: 404-832-5957
Atlanta Law Office Map