After having an accident at work and informing your employer, you will need to get a medical report from a doctor. The report will provide an account of your health. This can have a significant impact on the rest of your life, particularly if you have suffered a serious injury.
If you want to exercise your right to claim compensation from the CNESST (the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail), it is crucial that the report be accurate, because it will guide the organization’s decision. But how can you ensure its accuracy?
Me Bégin, a lawyer who specializes in work accident victims’ rights, explains the procedure and the importance of choosing an independent doctor.
Medical exam after a work accident
Victims of work accidents must seek out a doctor for a medical exam. The purpose of the exam is to have an expert evaluate your physical or mental health.
After the exam, the doctor will issue a medical report that includes several important points:
- Treatment required
- Date you can return to work
- Any permanent damage
- Physical or mental limitations
Medical exam procedure
Generally, medical exams take place where the doctor practices. This might be at their office, in a hospital or at any other type of healthcare facility.
The duration of the exam and the types of tests performed vary. We recommend answering the doctor’s questions honestly and in detail, even if they seem inappropriate. The questions are necessary for the expert to create a clear, comprehensive report, and refusing to answer could be detrimental to your case. The expert is neutral and isn’t there to judge you.
If the doctor needs to evaluate your physical health, a physical exam may be required. Again, even if you feel uncomfortable, we recommend that you cooperate. Otherwise, it could count against you.
If you have recently experienced an accident at work, read our article “What to do after a work accident” or contact us for more information on how to proceed.
The importance of being able to choose your doctor for a fair medical report
Yes, getting a medical report after a work accident is important, but it’s what the report contains that is truly essential. That’s why you need to be able to choose your doctor. Their opinion will have a major impact on the legal decisions made after the accident.
<H3> The doctor’s role and the importance of the medical report
The medical report is crucial, because it includes:
- The date you return to work
- An assessment of your physical and mental capabilities, which may give you the right to rehabilitation if the report is favourable, or deprive you of that right otherwise
- Treatment recommendations to improve your health
You can see the importance of getting a report from a professional who is truly independent and free from outside influence.
The consequences of not being able to choose your doctor
Of course, choosing your doctor is not always possible. If you were seriously injured, you will most likely be followed by the doctor who treated you at the hospital.
Unfortunately, some healthcare professionals minimize the impact of physical injuries and mental distress due to prejudice or because the victim represents an additional administrative burden.
Choosing the doctor and controlling their medical opinion allows employers and the CNESST to manage their expenses and reduce compensation for workers who get injured on the job.
Challenging a doctor’s medical report
The doctor is not only responsible for performing a detailed medical exam—they must also write a clear, comprehensive medical report. If you undergo a medical exam and find the report confusing or difficult to understand, you can challenge it.
Until a few years ago, it was very difficult to challenge a doctor’s medical report. However, circumstances are evolving in favour of work accident victims—jurisprudence has recently accepted challenges to doctors’ medical reports on grounds such as presenting no argument to support their opinion.
How to assert your rights after a work accident
If your health allows, we recommend contacting an independent doctor in order to obtain a fair medical report.
We believe that help from a specialized lawyer can be pivotal when it comes to getting justice from the CNESST. Whether you are contesting a CNESST decision or challenging a medical opinion, expert guidance can make all the difference.
At Bégin Avocat, we have extensive experience with these types of cases and can guide you through each step of the process. If you have any doubts about your situation after an accident, don’t hesitate to get in touch by filling out our contact form or calling us at (514) 509 – 7852.