What does it mean if my doctor says I am malingering?
Malingering, in the context of workers’ compensation, means someone who exaggerates or makes up symptoms of physical and/or mental disorders in order to avoid working, to obtain drugs/medications, continue receiving weekly benefits or increase the value of their claim for settlement purposes. In other words, someone who claims he/she is not able to return to work even though there is no medical evidence of disability.
Often, employers/insurers send injured workers to their doctors who make this judgement. A opinion that you are malingering can be a significant problem for your workers’ comp claim. In Georgia, accusations of malingering are thrown about without much to back them up, however, in the event that a judge accepts the doctor’s accusation or suggestion of malingering, it can lead to unfavorable rulings.
What can you do to avoid being labeled a malingerer? First, don’t let your employer/insurer select your doctor who is more likely to indicate this “opinion.” Second, be sure that you are portraying yourself as an honest but injured person who is following all of his physicians directions or orders. Show that you are working hard to reach a point where you are able to return to work.
If you feel that you have unjustly been labeled as a malingerer, contact the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera and allow us to fight for your right to receive benefits. We will review your medical records and work hard to get you all of the benefits you are entitled.
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