If you are injured in an accident at work, and you require immediate emergency medical care, your emergency room charges will be covered by workers' compensation if you later file a successful claim. Concern about whether workers' comp will pay for an ER visit should not keep you from getting the care you need. It will be important to your claim to tie the injury to a workplace incident, and a documented trip to the ER will do that. However, you must take important steps at the hospital to comply with Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) rules, and subsequent ER visits will likely not be covered. Learn everything you need to know about workers' comp for ER visits here.
What to Do If You Need Emergency Medical Care After a Workplace Accident
If you work in a high-risk industry such as construction or healthcare, you will likely suffer an injury on the job at some point. If the injury is serious or life-threatening, an ambulance might be called, or you might be rushed to the nearest emergency room. Accidents that could cause serious injury include:
- Falls from heights. Falling from scaffolding, a roof, or a lift could cause a traumatic brain injury or compound fracture that needs immediate treatment.
- Run-ins with machinery. Being crushed or lacerated by heavy equipment or forklifts will likely create a situation requiring an ambulance for expedited care.
- Power tool mishaps. Nail guns, buzz saws, and jackhammers can do serious damage if a mistake is made during their use. These injuries will require immediate attention.
- Assault by a patient or customer. Nurses, orderlies, night clerks, and others are at high risk of being assaulted, stabbed, or shot while on the job. These kinds of injuries will require a 911 call and emergency care.
If you can communicate when you arrive at the ER, tell the triage team you were injured at work. They might even ask the question for their own records. If you were brought in by a coworker, it would be clear that it was a work-related injury. However, these details can be worked out later. The priority is seeing to your wounds and saving your life. ER teams treat work-related injuries every day, and hospital staff knows how to document and report a work injury to support a later claim.
When an ER Visit Will Probably Not Be Covered
In Ohio, for medical care to be covered by workers' comp, you must see a doctor certified by the BWC. However, exceptions are allowed for an initial visit with your own doctor and for an immediate visit to the ER or an Urgent Care center. After that, you must see an approved provider. After your claim has been allowed, visits to the emergency room for treatment will probably not be covered because you are expected to follow up with your approved provider. If you are experiencing an emergency related to the initial work injury and need to get care right away, seek approval from your Managed Care Organization first, if possible. However, as we have said, the priority is getting the medical help you need when you need it.
When You Need an Attorney
If you are struggling to get approval for an ER visit, it might be a good idea to consult an Ohio workers' comp attorney. At Monast Law Office, our legal team can handle every aspect of your work injury claim, from helping you file to making sure your paperwork is complete and correct to speaking with your employer and the BWC on your behalf. Fill out our contact form or call us at 614-515-2595 to speak to our Columbus workers' compensation lawyer today for guidance on your workers' comp claim.