I injured my thumb at work. The doctors are recommending a fusion of one of the joints of my thumb, but I don’t want to do the surgery. Do I have a choice? What happens to my workers compensation benefits if I choose not to have the surgery?
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
Different states have different regulations regarding Workmans Compensation. You are not obligated to have any surgery. Your Workmans Compensation benefits will not be paid in cash or check to you. The benefits are strictly to cover the cost of medical bills, therapy, and lost wages. In some cases they may cover your out of pocket expenses as well.
It is important for you to know if you do not have the fusion now and your condition later worsens you may have trouble being compensated for the additional costs required for the surgery.
Further, if you do not have the surgery and then claim you are unable to perform the functions of your job as a result of the injury you may encounter problems with your employer.
You might consider a second opinion. Your employer is normally bound by the Workmans Compensation regulations which state your employer must afford you access to another physician on a list she is bound to maintain. That consultation should be covered by your Workmans Compensation insurance.
Learn more here: Workers Comp Doctors & IMEs
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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