With the law changing so much in California and permanent disability being reduced, you definitely need an attorney. They are only entitled to 15% by statute. If your claim was denied your attorney will know how to get you an MRI by what's called a "lien" basis. That way you don't have to pay out of your pocket and this will increase the amount of your award especially if more than soft tissue injury is found, such as a bulging disc, etc. Best of luck.
This is a general statement regarding law and facts and should not be construed as an attorney-client relationship or a solicitation for same.
For a denied workers' comp claim, it is critical to have an attorney if you intend on pursuing your claim. Find an experience lawyer in your area as soon as possible.
Is it critical to have an MRI to prove an injury? I would tend to think not, but that is a medical issue and it depends on the facts of your case. An MRI might be useful to show how a post-injury condition is now worse than a pre-existing condition prior to the injury.
If your claim has been denied, I would not delay in contacting an attorney. Whether or not an MRI is necessary would be between you, your doctor and your attorney. I am not sure what an MRI necessarily indicates that has to do with your workers compensation claim, but I am not admitted in California either. Please rely on experienced workers compensation counsel to pursue this claim. If you search avvo.com you should be able to find an attorney near you.
I would agree with both answers. If it has been denied then it is likely headed to a hearing. You need to be represented, because the ins co will have an attorney there. Why wait until its too far along in the case.
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Whether you need an mri should be a medical decision you and your doctor discuss. Will the results impact your wc case? It can be very useful evidence to prove or disprove certain issues.
The real question is whether a doctor who is evaluating you needs an MRI in order to address all of the medical-legal issues necessary to write a report that a judge can use to decide your case. An MRI isn't going to be of much use to a judge. What the judge needs is the well reasoned medical-legal opinion about your injury. The doctor may very well want one. But, getting one on your own isn't going to help your case.
I have seen many panel doctors avoid giving diagnostics that might definitely diagnosis a condition that would ultimately be the responsibility of the insurers who refer them cases. It really depends on the injury and the character of the doctor (unfortunately). If you do retain someone, they will most likely refer you to healthcare providers who will treat you properly. However, your question really depends on many facts which are not stated in the question. Good luck.