Nurse Case Managers
In Massachusetts, around 90%of injuries from motor vehicle collisions consist of sprains and strains. Recovery, more often than not, follows a predictable course. Work injuries are much different. They vary much more than other types of injuries. They can involve machine related limb injuries or loss, disc damage from lifting heavy weight, falls from significant heights, repetitive strain injuries evolving over a long period of time, and other complex medical conditions.
This is not to minimize the motor vehicle sprains. Rather, it simply is to point out that the paths of recovery with work injuries are more varied and less easily categorized. This is because every type of injury has a different course of care. So the adjusters at insurance companies that handle workers compensation cases do not have the same opportunity over time to develop the same familiarity with courses of care. Therefore, they may assign a nurse case manager to your claim.Does a Nurse Case Manager Help or Hurt You?
Obviously, a nurse case manager works for the insurance company. That causes many workers compensation attorneys have their clients avoid case managers like the plague and throw up roadblocks to their involvement. Depending on the situation, this may be shortsighted.
Nurses are paid by the insurance company, and there is incentive to sympathize with the company instead of the injured worker. But this is far too cynical a view, and a good lawyer will assess each case manager on his or her merits. Their obligation is first and foremost to the patient. And they often can be a valuable advocate for the injured employee. A nurse may follow the employee's care in person, or by telephonically speaking with the medical providers, or just by monitoring all the medical records.
One thing that should be limited is nurse case managers who want to go to an appointment with an injured worker. He or she can pose the risk of unduly interfering with the doctor/patient relationship. The Workers Compensation lawyers at Marcotte Law Firm generally make provisions for our clients to be alone with their medical provider during treatment, and to have the case manager be made privy to developments afterward. Just as the insurance company wants additional insight from another medical professional, the injured worker can benefit from the same insight that a nurse case manager provides.A Good Attorney Can Determine Whether the Case Manager is an Asset or a Detriment
It’s important to be proactive in figuring out whether the nurse case manager will help or hurt your case. There are situations in which the case manager is pushing for your return to work prematurely. There are also opposite circumstances where the case manager has a can recommend and advocate for treatment options that otherwise might avoid consideration.
At Marcotte Law Firm, we have a century's worth of experience with workers compensation. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather we examine each on its merits, using all assets and tools that can help our client and dispatch those that cannot.
If you’ve been injured at work and have questions about your nurse case manager, call the Workers Compensation attorneys at Marcotte Law Firm for a free consultation.