follow doctor's orders

Why It’s Important to Follow Your Doctor’s Orders After a Maritime Accident

Maritime injuries are inevitable. By nature, maritime work is dangerous, and injured employees deserve compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other related expenses. However, it is a two-way street. When you receive injury compensation as a maritime employee, you are expected to follow your doctor’s instructions, work towards full recovery, and avoid making your injury worse.

If you’ve been injured while working aboard a vessel, you may be entitled to multiple types of compensation. Learn more about your next steps now by calling Fuquay Law Firm at 251-219-0329.

You Don’t Know the Extent of Your Injuries

You may have been injured at work before, and you may think you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the recovery process. However, you must defer to the doctor for each specific injury. Depending on your overall health, the circumstances of the accident, and the severity of your injury, you may have a very different path to recovery than you expect. If you assume your doctor is being overly cautious or that you know your injury better than they do, you risk worsening your injuries.

Your Compensation Depends on It

The terms of your compensation likely depend on it. While maritime workers do not go through state workers’ compensation for their benefits, the expectations placed on workers are largely the same. You are expected to avoid doing anything that will worsen your injury, such as going back to work before you are ready or engaging in activities that will push your limits. If you do not fulfill your obligations, you risk losing your compensation. They are paying you to recover and get back to normal as quickly as possible, not to risk your health and spend unnecessary time away from work.

The Consequences of Going Against Your Doctor’s Orders

The consequences of ignoring your doctor’s orders are multifaceted. To start, you could damage your physical health. Without an extensive medical background, it’s hard to know how pushing yourself too far in physical therapy, skipping appointments, or working without permission will affect your healing. In some cases, these decisions will simply delay your healing, leaving you injured for additional weeks or months. In other cases, these decisions can actually permanently damage your health and prevent you from ever making a full recovery.

Furthermore, your insistence on going against your doctor could harm your workers’ compensation claim and your relationship with your employer. Your employer has a vested interest in getting you back to work as soon as it’s safe. If you are taking unnecessary risks that prevent you from working, you leave them short-staffed and in an uncomfortable position. You also run the risk that your workers’ compensation insurance provider will notice that you are healing too slowly and investigate your claim. Once they catch you acting against your doctor’s orders, they have enough evidence to pull your claim and stop providing compensation.

Proper Tracking of Your Progress

In many cases, failing to follow a doctor’s orders isn’t a malicious or intentional act. It might be as simple as missing appointments if they are inconvenient, far away, or do not fit your schedule. Even this decision can negatively impact your claim and your health. Your workers’ compensation insurance provider will want to see proof that you are making progress toward recovery and taking the necessary steps. Skipped appointments are a red flag that may cause an investigation into your claim.

Your health may also suffer without proper documentation of your progress. Medical care requires constant adjustment based on diagnostic testing, and without proper monitoring, you can’t know what you should be doing to recover more quickly.

While it may be frustrating or seem over-the-top, following your doctor’s instructions is an essential part of your maritime injury claim. If you have concerns about your doctor’s approach or methods, bring that up with them and work towards a solution that makes everyone happy.

Contact Fuquay Law Firm to Explore Your Workers’ Comp Options

If you’ve struggled to get the compensation you deserve after a maritime injury, Fuquay Law Firm is here to help. Our firm boasts extensive experience in this area of law, and we are focused on helping employees get the compensation they deserve. Schedule a meeting now by calling us at 251-219-0329 or contacting us online.

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