Like your work comp lawyer, your workers’ compensation doctor plays a pivotal role in determining your work comp claim’s success. A work comp doctor can determine if your claim would be approved and how huge your compensation sums will be. They can also determine how long you will receive workers’ compensation.
For example, your work comp doctor is responsible for diagnosing your condition and deciding whether it’s work-related. If they interpret your injury as not work-related, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Your doctor can also decide when you will return to work and determine your work restrictions when you do. This can impact your compensation amounts and the duration within which you’ll receive them.
Unfortunately, sometimes, you may not like your work comp doctors, especially if they seem adverse to your claims. In such situations, you may wonder if you can change your doctor to someone more pleasant and cooperative. We’ll let you in on what Florida’s workers’ compensation law says about that in this article.
Why Would I Need to Switch Workers’ Compensation Doctors?
There are many reasons why you may want to change your workers’ comp doctor in Florida. They include the following:
Inadequate Treatment, Inexperience, and Lack of Skill
Some physicians may opt for cheaper treatment instead of the most effective ones to save costs for the insurance companies. In other cases, they may not be the right specialists for your type of health condition. In such cases, it’ll be wise to ask for a more qualified specialist.
The company doctor often tries to play to the tune of the insurance company to your detriment. If you discover that your treating physician is biased in any way, requesting a second physician may help.
Lack of Proper Test
There are many ways physicians may test for your exact ailment. Unfortunately, in some cases, the most accurate methods like MRIs and X Rays, etc., may be too expensive to run. As such, they may recommend less costly and effective test procedures for you. If that’s the case, you may request a second doctor who will be ready to perform the correct diagnostic tests.
How to Change Your Company Doctor Under Florida’s Work Comp Rule
Generally, under Florida’s work comp rules, it’s your employer’s insurance company that chooses your physician. If you don’t like the chosen medical practitioner, you have the right to request a change just once. However, the insurance company will also select the second physician.
The only way injured workers can choose their doctors is if the employer refuses to provide medical treatment in time. After a change of doctor request, the workers can choose their physicians if the employers don’t respond within five days.
Summarily, changing your company medical professional in Florida requires the following steps:
- A written request to the insurance company to change your physician
- A response from the insurance company within five days of receiving the letter
- The insurance company chooses your second doctor. In the alternative, you choose your physician upon the expiration of 5 days if the company fails to do so.
- You begin consultations and treatment with the second physician. If you’ve passed through this process, you can’t ask for a change of doctor anymore.
How About an Independent Medical Exam?
One thing that Florida’s work comp rules guarantees is that you have a one-time chance to change your company doctor. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t guarantee that the second physician would be any better than the first. So, sometimes, you may not like your second doctor too.
In such situations, you may have no choice but to consider an IME (Independent Medical Examiner). An IME is a physician who can provide expert medical opinions about your case.
While they wouldn’t treat you, they’ll address certain grey areas and give you a fair analysis of your medical condition. They can also recommend suitable treatment options and procedures for your situation. However, you’ll bear the financial burden if you request an IME.
Contact Florida’s Top Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Now!
Generally, a work comp doctor plays a vital role in your compensation claims. They can determine whether you get the benefits you desire or not. Fortunately, you can ensure that they don’t abuse their powers by hiring a Florida work comp attorney to represent you.
Your work comp lawyers can compel both the doctors and your employers to do right by you. To ensure that you have the best legal representation on your side, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers immediately. We’ll offer you the best legal help you can’t get anywhere else.