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Occupational Injury Law Center
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California's workers' compensation law and rights to medical care

If you've been injured on the job in California, then under the state's workers' compensation policies, you have a right to receive rehabilitative medical care at your employer's expense. It's important to note that the treatments you receive, though, are required to be in alignment with those prescribed in the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine's (ACEOEM) practice guidelines.

The ACEOEM outlines different evidence-based treatment options for common occupational injuries. Among some of the different specifications detailed in the guidelines, it describes how often you should expect to be treated for an ailment (frequency), the length of time you should be have to undergo it (duration), as well as how intense the treatment should be.

The claims administrator is required to provide you with an authorization to begin treatment for your injury within one working day of your claim being filed. Even if the accident is being investigated, you still are entitled to receive necessary medical treatment up to a cap of $10,000.Once your receive the approval, there are additional limits you're subject to.

One of those has to do with the different types of treatments you're allowed to undergo. Under the current workers' compensation policies, an injured worker is only entitled to see a chiropractor, physical or occupational therapist for 24 total visits. To qualify for more visits than that, the claims administrator has to authorize it. This generally only occurs when a worker has a surgical procedure performed on him or her.

Another limitation you may be subject to centers around how long you can undergo certain treatments. While treatments are required to be evidence-based, they can theoretically continue to be administered over the long term.

It's even possible that a doctor, who can clearly voice why he or she wants to pursue a treatment beyond what's called for in ACEOEM guidelines, may be authorized to do so. In this case, they're just required to show evidence as to why it may be more effective for the individual than other modalities prescribed.

If you've been injured on the job and you're looking to better understand your rights in your particular case, then a Modesto workers' compensation attorney can answer your most pressing questions.

Source: State of California Department of Industrial Relations, "Answers to frequently asked questions about workers' compensation for employees," accessed Aug. 04, 2017

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