How to Spot and Avoid Personal Injury Mills after Suffering an on-the-Job Injury

Posted on: 14 March 2016

If you suffer an injury while you are at work, you may be eligible for various forms of workers' compensation. This may include paid medical leave and coverage of your medical bills. Unfortunately, there are many fraudulent scams associated with workers' compensation. These may include employees making false claims, employers failing to pay appropriate premiums, or doctors and lawyers working to collect greater fees from insurance companies. One of these scams that can negatively affect both you and your employer is known as a medical mill scam. 

Medical mills generally consist of a small group of lawyers and doctors that work together to exaggerate workers compensation claims and extort unnecessary money from insurance companies. While it is important that you get the benefits that are owed to you, becoming involved with a medical mill can be harmful to you because you may undergo unnecessary medical treatment, be prevented from returning to work in a timely manner, and even be investigated for fraud. 

Below are some ways that you can spot and avoid medical mills associated with workers' compensation scams. 

Use Your Personal Doctor 

When you are injured on the job, you are usually allowed to select your own doctor to care for your injuries. If possible, you should start by consulting with a doctor whom you trust. After your initial examination, you should ask your doctor for recommendations of any specialists that you may need for further treatment. 

If you do not have a personal doctor at the time of your injury, you should find one on your own. You should be careful of doctors who claim to specialize in treatment of workplace injuries, and you should make sure that the doctor you choose is willing to work with your workplace insurance. 

Be Wary of Lawyers or Doctors Who Approach You 

Sometimes lawyers seek out clients with workplace injuries in person as opposed to letting clients find them on their own. This slightly more aggressive tactic is often employed by lawyers who are part of a medical mill. When you agree to meet with these lawyers, they may strongly recommend that you use their doctors or clinics instead of your personal doctor. This is a sign that they may be part of a medical mill. Your lawyer should respect your decision to utilize your personal doctor and you should not feel pressured to use doctors in the lawyer's network. 

Review All Insurance Claims 

One way for medical mills to get more money is to run unnecessary tests or to claim that they have provided more services than they actually have. Any time a claim is submitted to an insurance company, you should review the services and charges to make sure they correlate to the treatment that you have actually received. If there is something on the claim that does not seem right to you, you should discuss it with your doctor and the insurance company. 

If your treatment seems excessive for your injury, you may ask for a second opinion from a doctor outside of the clinic where you are currently being treated. 

Be Honest about Your Injury 

Workplace injuries can be confusing. It can be difficult to assess the extent of some soft-tissue damage, such as back and neck injuries. However, it is important that you are honest about your injury and your recovery. If you find that your doctor asks leading questions, suggests that you are in more pain than you are actually experiencing, or encourages you to "get the most from your injury," you may be caught in a medical mill. 

Being honest about the extent of your injury can help you get the medical treatment you actually need and help you return to work when you feel ready. 

An experienced, honest lawyer can help you navigate your workers' compensation claim and make sure you get the support and benefits that you need. They can also help you avoid medical mills and other fraudulent practices. Find help through a website like