In the State of North Carolina the workers’ compensation insurance company or employer generally has the right to direct the medical treatment of the injured worker. If you have been injured and you are out of work receiving weekly benefits from a workers’ compensation insurance company it is very important that you comply with the recommendations of the treating physician when it comes to attending medical appointments and therapies.
If you fail to attend medical appointments you may jeopardize your benefits. Medical appointments are appointments for any type of treatment that is reasonably necessary to effect a cure, give relief, or tend to lessen the period of disability. If the injured employee willfully fails to attend medical appointments that have been scheduled by the insurance company, employer, or the physician then the insurance company or the employer will request that the injured employee be ordered to attend these appointments by the Industrial Commission.
Of course you may be asking yourself why would the insurance company or the employer want to order the injured employee to attend medical appointments? Wouldn’t this cost them more money? Predominantly a request for an order to compel is done by the insurance company or employer when the injured employee is out of work receiving disability benefits.
If an employee is ordered to attend medical appointments, then if the injured employee willfully fails to comply with this order, the insurance company or the employer will file an application to terminate or suspend your benefits. If your benefits are suspended then it could be a very lengthy process to reinstate your benefits. It could take months to even years to get them reinstated.
Once again the rule to remember is to comply with medical treatment. Not only is it in your best interest physically, it keeps the insurance company from having a reason to terminate your benefits.