The annual report on the total number of Texas work injuries was recently published and it showed another drop in the overall number of reported work injury claims for 2010. This is the 4th consecutive year showing a reduction in Texas work injury claims. Some would have us believe that this number is a good thing, and from the standpoint of fewer people getting injured I would certainly agree. However, these numbers don’t necessarily tell the whole story. Take the following points for example.
Point #1 – Unemployment. When fewer people have jobs fewer people get hurt on the job.
Point #2 – Fear of Unemployment. When so many people are already out of work, many others fear being out of work. Lots of companies fire people after they are hurt on the job. It’s not fair, but it’s a reality for many injured workers.
Point #3 – Reduction of Doctors who Treat Injured Workers. Workers Compensation health care networks have drastically limited the number of qualified doctors who are allowed to treat many injured workers. If employees have reduced access to qualified workers comp doctors, who will they report their injury to? Not reporting an injury doesn’t mean that an injury never happened, but statistically, this will add to the supposed reduction in work injury claims.
Point #4 – Work Injuries that are Treated as Regular Health Insurance Claims. Many people who are hurt at work will not only not report their injury, but they will see a doctor and say that they don’t know how the pain started. They may get some treatment from their doctor, but it will be under their regular health insurance and not under Texas Workers Compensation. Many health insurers are very good at allowing treatment for these kinds of injuries. Blue Cross Blue Shield is one very good example of an insurance company that takes care of its customers. The problem is that Texas Workers Comp provides injured workers with many rights that the injured worker must forgo by not filing a work injury claim, and by taking this route annual injury statistics appear lower than they really are.
Now clearly some of the reason for the reduced number of Texas work injury claims is due to things like better employer education on workplace safety, OSHA regulations, and other workplace safety initiatives. Those points should not be overlooked. The point I want to drive home is that these numbers are most certainly skewed and the reasons are very sad. Unemployment, fear of unemployment, reduction of qualified Texas Workers Compensation doctors, filing on health insurance instead of workers comp insurance and anything else that might have an affect on the statistics.
WOLMED Texas workers compensation doctors want to help you when you’re hurt on the job. We can’t stop unemployment, but we can help you with the fear of unemployment by helping you get the treatment you need and by taking steps to help protect your job. And sure we accept Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance and most other insurances, but we don’t want you to waive your rights under Texas Workers Compensation. Instead, we want to help protect your rights. Finally, while there is a reduction of qualified doctors who treat workers compensation, we still treat injured workers and we have no plans whatsoever to stop helping injured workers. We want to be your doctor!
If you or someone you know what hurt at work, but aren’t exactly sure what to do about it, give us a call. The Medical Doctors and Chiropractors at WOLMED can help you. We are workers comp experts. We’re open 7am to 8pm on week days and 7am to 4pm on Saturdays and we welcome same-day appointments. Call us today in Denton and Dallas, TX.