If you’ve been injured at work, you may have to see a workers compensation doctor.
Being injured on the job can be a complicated situation. You’ll have to enter the workers compensation process, whereby your employer and their insurer are likely going to try to control the outcome as much as possible. One of the ways they do this is by attempting to assign you a workers compensation doctor.
These doctors work with insurance companies to provide injured employees medical care free of charge. Although getting free medical care is good, you have to be careful about how these doctors are assessing your injuries. After all, their client is actually your employer’s insurer.
Today, we’re going to talk a bit about this process and tell you whether or not you can choose your own workers compensation doctor. Read on and you’ll have everything you need to know to move forward with your workers comp case.
How Workers Compensation Doctors Work
Workers compensation doctors are trained medical professionals and have no distinction from other medical doctors other than the fact that they’re hired by an insurance company. They’ll still be able to give you the proper treatment for your injuries and give you medical advice, but you have to remember that their client will want to minimize your employer’s liability in your accident to minimize the amount they’ll have to pay out for your injuries.
For that reason, many injured employees are wary of the entire concept of the employer-appointed workers comp doctor. You may be able to choose your own treating physician, but it will depend on where in the US that you reside.
Can You Choose Your Own Workers Compensation Doctor?
The rules here vary on a state-by-state basis. In some states, you have to take the workers compensation doctor that the insurance company chooses for you. Other states allow you to choose your own doctor, but only from a pool of doctors determined by the state, the employer, and the insurance company. You can find a list of the state-by-state rules here.
When there’s a workers compensation case involved, your normal doctor may actually refuse to treat you because of the circumstances. You can keep seeing your normal doctor for everything else, just nothing relating to your work injury.
Your hands may be tied, but it’s important to get informed about the laws in your state. It’s also important to report your injury as soon as it happens, regardless of how serious it may seem. If you fail to do so and your injury gets worse over time, your workers comp case could suffer, regardless of who your treating physician is.
Following Workers Compensation Doctor Advice
Now that you know a bit more about the rules with workers comp, you can do what you can to find a workers compensation doctor that you trust. It’s so important to find one you can trust to properly report on your accident and the resulting injuries so that you’re properly compensated for everything from missed work to your ongoing medical bills.
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