In your personal life, if you get sick or hurt, you get to choose which doctor you see. Most of us have a primary physician. In most cases, that’s who we would want to be treated by. However, as your workers comp attorney in Orlando knows all too well, you don’t have this freedom when it comes to your workers comp doctor.
Your Employer’s Insurance Company Chooses Your Workers Comp Doctor
When you suffer an injury at work, you need to report it to your manager right away. If it’s an emergency, you have the liberty of going to any doctor. Of course, more than likely, you’ll be transported to the nearest emergency room.
Once your employer has a chance to report your injuries to their insurance carrier, they will assign a workers comp doctor to you. In Florida, as in most other states, there is a list of doctors who are approved to handle workers comp cases. Your doctor will be on this list.
Your Orlando Injury Lawyer Knows That There Are Exceptions to This Rule
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Your Orlando injury lawyer knows that. They also know what the exceptions happen to be.
In the following situations, you’ll have a little more freedom in choosing a workers comp doctor:
- Your employer’s insurance company fails to assign a doctor to your claim within a reasonable time period.
- The insurance company has a list of managed care physicians you can pick from.
- It’s an emergency situation.
- Your claim is initially denied.
If you aren’t sure if you can choose a doctor on your own, check with a worker’s comp attorney in Orlando first. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your right to have your medical care covered.
You May Have to Switch Doctors Once Your Claim is Processed
As stated above, there are times when your injuries are so serious that you have to go to the emergency room. In these cases, you’ll have no control over who you see. Once your employer has a chance to submit your claim to their insurance company, your doctor may be changed.
When the insurance company processes your claim, they may assign you to a different workers comp doctor. It all depends on the situation.
What Should You Do if You Need to See a Specialist?
As with most personal health insurance plans, if you need to see a specialist, you need a referral. This referral must come from your assigned workers comp doctor. If you see a specialist without approval, you may be held responsible for the costs of treatment.
Your Workers Comp Attorney in Orlando Can Help You Change Doctors
There are times when our workers comp attorneys in Orlando need to request a different doctor. If your workers comp doctor isn’t treating you properly, you have the right to request a new doctor.
You can only make this request one time throughout your workers compensation claim. You need to be judicious in deciding when you want to do this. If you request a new doctor within the first few weeks, you won’t have the opportunity to do that later.
What Are the Requirements for Changing Doctors?
In order to justify a request for a new doctor, your Orlando injury lawyer will need to show cause. You shouldn’t have a problem requesting a new workers comp doctor if any of the following conditions exist:
- Your workers compensation doctor refuses to listen to you.
- You believe your physician has behaved in an unprofessional manner.
- Your doctor refuses to provide the treatment you feel you need.
- Your workers comp doctor minimizes your injuries.
If you have a hard time convincing the insurance company to approve a change of doctor, let your Orlando injury lawyer know. They can reach out to the insurance company and find out what the issue is.
What Decisions Does Your Workers Comp Doctor Make?
You may wonder why it matters so much which doctor is assigned to your claim. You may not realize it, but your workers comp doctor has a lot of power over your claim.
At a minimum, your doctor will have a say in the following:
- Determining when you’ve reached maximum medical improvement and are, therefore, ready to go back to work
- Deciding the best court of treatment given your injuries
- Whether you’ve suffered a permanent disability and, if so, to what extent
- How long you need to take off work in order to recover
- Whether you’re ready to return to work in a light-duty position
If you don’t have a doctor with your best interests at heart, it can have a significant impact on your case.
What if Your Orlando Injury Lawyer and Workers Comp Doctor Disagree on Your Care?
There are bound to be times when your workers comp attorney in Orlando and your doctor disagree. If it gets to the point where your attorney thinks a second opinion is necessary, you can obtain one.
You are entitled to one opportunity to undergo an independent medical examination. This is when an independent doctor will examine you and see if their determination as to the nature and severity of your injuries is different from your doctor’s assessment.
Keep in mind – you can only do this one time and you are responsible for the costs of the exam.
You Shouldn’t Wait Too Long to Contact a Workers Comp Attorney in Orlando
When you suffer a workplace injury, you have no idea what is going to happen. If you’re lucky, your claim will be approved, and you’ll start receiving your benefits in a couple of weeks. However, if your claim is denied, you’re going to want to talk to a workers comp attorney in Orlando.
We suggest that you contact our office sooner rather than later. If your claim is denied, you’ll only have a certain amount of time to file an appeal. Our Orlando work injury lawyers work hard to get our clients the benefits they deserve. Well also make sure the insurance company and your employer don’t try to take advantage of you.