What If My Employer Won’t Help Me Get Medical Treatment When I Was Injured?
Here is the scenario: You were injured at work and your employer doesn’t want you to make a claim. They might say that they would cover it under the table or maybe claim that you are an “independent contractor” and are not entitled to benefits. Either way, they are obstructing your right to get medical treatment. The motive for this is easy: The fewer claims they have to report, the more money they’ll save for their company.
How to Find Out Where to Go for Treatment. All companies in Utah that have workers compensation coverage are required to publicly provide the name of their insurance carrier. It’s a matter of public record. This way, you can go around your company’s evasive theatrics and go to the source of the workers compensation insurance and just deal with them directly.
First, go to www.ewccv.com/cvs/search to get to the search screen and put in your employer’s name. The search results will provide the name of the insurance carrier, along with a policy number.
Second, click on the company name for more information. This will take you to a screen where the insurance company name is displayed and will again list the policy number and coverage date.
Third, click on the link marked “CLICK HERE TO VIEW CLAIM PROCESSING INFORMATION.” The next screen will give you more details on the insurance policy and will provide a phone number so you can call and get the insurance information. Once you get to the right department, ask the representative for the name of the clinic(s) that you are allowed to go to.
I did a test on the carrier for my law practice and the friendly representative gave me the names of 4 clinics. While she did tell me to avoid the emergency room if I could, she did say that this was an option for serious cases. The clinics they said I could go to were Concentra, Medallus Medical and Granger Urgent Care.
Fourth, go to one of the listed clinics or emergency departments for treatment. You should let them know you are there for a workplace injury and provide them with you newly-discovered insurance information.
Employer Penalties for Refusing to Cooperate. The employer is required by law to cooperate when you tell them you have a workplace injury. Their failure to provide you information and to submit an “Employer’s First Report of Injury or Illness” can subject them to penalties.
According to the Utah Labor Commission:
“Failure to file [the required report] with the insurance carrier or failure to provide the employee with a copy of the report, is a Class C misdemeanor and can also result in a citation and a civil penalty for each violation.”
The employer is also warned that if they dispute the validity of a claim, they still need to contact their workers compensation insurance carrier and provide them with the required form. If your employer is not doing this, I urge you to contact the Utah Labor Commission at (801) 530-6800 to report the situation. Keep in mind that it is illegal in Utah for your employer to fire you or retaliate against you for making a workers’ compensation claim.
Ron Kramer is an attorney practicing workers compensation law in West Jordan and throughout Utah.