In your personal life, you can shop around for a primary doctor that you’re comfortable with. But when it comes to workers’ compensation, it doesn’t work that way. Our St. Petersburg workers comp attorneys have handled plenty of cases where our client was not happy with the workers’ compensation doctor assigned to their case.
The Insurance Company Will Assign a Workers’ Compensation Doctor to Your Case
Like it or not, you don’t get to choose your doctor under workers’ compensation. Once your workers’ compensation claim is approved, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will dictate which workers’ compensation doctor will treat you.
Unfortunately, you don’t have a say in who this doctor will be. The state has a list of doctors who have been pre-certified to handle workers’ compensation cases. Ideally, you and your workers’ compensation doctor will get along just fine.
If, however, you aren’t comfortable with your doctor, or you don’t think they have your best interests at heart, let your workers comp lawyer in St. Petersburg know.
Your St. Petersburg Workers Comp Attorney Will Have No Say in Who the Doctor Is
Even if your St. Petersburg workers comp attorney doesn’t like the workers’ compensation doctor assigned to your case, there isn’t much they can do. The insurance adjuster is the one who assigns a doctor to your case.
You may wonder why your workers’ comp lawyer in St. Petersburg would care which doctor is assigned to you.
The truth is that certain workers’ compensation doctors get a reputation for trying to pressure employees to go back to work too soon. Or they may be known for pushing their patients too far, thereby resulting in an even worse injury.
What if You Don’t Like the Doctor That’s Been Assigned to You?
There are times when our clients are not happy with the workers’ compensation doctor who has been assigned to treat them. They may feel like the doctor is belittling their injuries. Or they may get the impression that their workers’ compensation doctor doesn’t care about them – they only want to get them back to work.
You do have to remember that workers’ compensation doctors’ main priority is to get you back to work as quickly as possible. This may not sound fair, but it’s the truth. If you feel like you’re being pressured, let your St. Petersburg workers comp attorney know immediately.
Make Sure You Let Your Workers Comp Lawyer in St. Petersburg Know Right Away
You don’t want to subject yourself to a workers’ compensation doctor you aren’t comfortable with for too long. It’s one thing if the two of you don’t hit it off. But if you feel like your doctor cares more about getting you back to work than making sure you’re healthy, that’s a problem.
As soon as you feel like your workers’ compensation doctor isn’t treating you properly, let your workers’ comp lawyer in St. Petersburg know. They can get started on your request for a new doctor to be assigned to your case.
You Should Have Notes Explaining Why You Want to Change Doctors
It’s a good idea to keep a list of the things your workers’ compensation doctor does that rub you the wrong way. For example, if they rush you in and out of an appointment, write it down. If they don’t take the time to answer your questions, make a note of that.
The reason we suggest this is so that your St. Petersburg workers comp attorney can explain why you want a new doctor. The insurance adjuster is going to ask. It’s better to have a detailed explanation ready.
Your St. Petersburg Workers Comp Attorney Can Request a New Doctor on Your Behalf
Once you are sure you want to change doctors, let your attorney know. They’ll help you file a request for a new workers’ compensation doctor through the insurance company. Once they receive your request, they have five (5) days to authorize a new doctor to be assigned to your case.
If they ignore your request, you can select a workers’ compensation doctor on your own. Your workers’ comp lawyer in St. Petersburg can let the insurance company know which doctor you’ve chosen.
You Can Only Change Doctors One Time Throughout the Course of Your Claim
You need to know that you can only change doctors one time. There’s always the chance that you change doctors and like the new doctor even less than you did the first doctor. If this happens, you’re out of luck. According to Florida Statute §440.13(2)(f), you won’t be able to change doctors again.
Some of our clients assume that they can always go back to the original workers’ compensation doctor if this happens. The insurance company won’t let that happen. You are stuck with whoever the second doctor is for the duration of your claim.
Who Chooses the New Doctor Assigned to Handle Your Case?
Normally, the new workers’ compensation doctor will be assigned by the insurance adjuster. They may just pick the next doctor down on their list. Or they may want to use a doctor that is friendly to employers. You’ll have no idea why they choose the particular doctor they assign to your case.
Once they select a new doctor for your case, they’ll inform you and your St. Petersburg workers comp attorney. They will provide you with information on the new doctor, such as their address and phone number.
Be Careful What You Wish For
We always tell our clients to request a new workers’ compensation doctor as a last resort. You never know what the second doctor will be like.
It won’t help that the new doctor knows you complained about the first doctor either. They may assume that you’ll be a difficult patient. This can only hurt your medical treatment.
It’s a Good Idea to Contact a Workers Comp Lawyer in St. Petersburg Sooner Rather Than Later
We always suggest that any employee who gets hurt at work contact a St. Petersburg workers comp attorney right away. The longer you wait to hire a workers comp lawyer in St. Petersburg, the longer it will take to get a doctor you like.
You can call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation today. Take the time to sit down with an experienced attorney who can make sure your claim is handled properly from the start.
Since the consultation is free, you have nothing to lose. In fact, you don’t pay our firm anything until we settle your case.