Can you get back pay from workers comp if you suffer an injury that is not diagnosed by the company doctor?

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Can you get back pay from workers comp if you suffer an injury that is not diagnosed by the company doctor?

My wife hurt her back at work. She went to the company doctor who took her out of work for a week or two. She received salary continuation from the company. The work doctor then sent her back to work saying she should be improved. She tried working but still had pain. She went back to work but the doctor told her he would not see her because there was nothing wrong with her. She requested to see her own doctor or another of the company’s choosing. The company refused. She took sick time and saw her own doctor anyway. Her doctor took her out of work. Now years later after an MRI they determine that she has 4 bulged discs. Can she get backpay for workers compensation?

Asked on May 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A key issue may be how many "year later" have passed. If it's too many, you and your wife will not be able to bring legal action, and once you can no longer bring legal action, you can't force people to pay.

You and your wife should consult with an attorney. You have two different possible claims to pursue. The first is, as you note, a possible claim for additional worker's compensation. In addition, you may have a malpractice claim against the doctor who seemingly misdiagnosed her. Since the clock is ticking, so to speak, you and your wife should consult with an attorney right away, before more time passes. Once it's too late to bring an action, it is too late.


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