If you have been in a work accident, you should first notify your employer, then obtain a medical report from an independent physician. A medical report is an official record of your state of health following the accident. It can have a significant impact as you move forward with your life, especially if you have suffered serious injuries.
For example, if you wish to assert your rights and file a claim with the CNESST (Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail), the contents of your medical report will guide the organization’s decision. It is therefore extremely important that this report be accurate.
Mr. Bégin, a work accident lawyer in Montreal, explains how the procedure works and the importance of choosing an independent physician.
How to contest a medical report
If you are not satisfied with the contents of the medical report, it is possible to challenge it by obtaining a second opinion. You cannot challenge the contents of the original report, but you can provide a new report and use it to challenge any decisions made based on the original report.
To challenge any actions resulting from an inaccurate medical report, you must inform the CNESST that you intend to contest a decision. If your health does not permit this, you can send a letter to the organization explaining your intent and wait for your condition to stabilize before visiting a doctor of your choice to get a second opinion. Alternatively, if your health permits, you can obtain a medical evaluation first, then send the new report to the CNESST.
In both cases, you must send the new report to the CNESST as soon as it has been issued.
Choosing your own doctor
Receiving a medical evaluation following a work accident is essential for your well-being, and having an accurate report drawn up is equally important. The contents of this report will have a significant impact on future decisions regarding your insurance, follow-up treatment and return to work.
The official medical opinion expressed in the report will greatly influence the legal decisions that will be rendered after your accident.
The doctor who writes the medical report
Your medical report is crucial since the document directly affects decisions about:
- The expected date of your return to work
- The state of your physical and mental capacities, and whether or not you are awarded the right to rehabilitation benefits
- The treatments you should receive to improve your health.
It is essential to choose a physician who is independent of any outside pressure and who will make a fair and unbiased assessment of your health.
If you are unable to choose a doctor
Choosing a doctor is not always possible. For example, if you suffered a serious injury and were treated by a doctor at the hospital, you will usually need to ask that same doctor to provide a medical report.
Unfortunately, some health care professionals minimize the impact of physical and emotional injuries, either because of prejudice or because the accident victim simply represents an additional administrative burden.
The choice of physician and the control of medical opinions can allow employers and the CNESST to control the payment of health plan expenses and even reduce the benefits paid to workers who have been injured on the job.
Claiming your rights as a victim of a work accident
If your health permits, we recommend that you contact an independent medical expert to secure a fair medical evaluation and report.
The help of a workplace injury lawyer is also essential in obtaining a fair decision from the CNESST. Whether you need to contest a decision by the CNESST or to challenge a medical report, professional assistance can greatly affect the results.
At Bégin Avocat, we have extensive knowledge of work injury cases and will be able to help you through every step of the process. Contact us using our contact form or by calling (514) 509 – 7852.