State and federal laws mandate employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance is specifically targeted at workers and paid for by the employer. Typically, it provides benefits such as medical expenses, lost wages, and future earning capacity.
In exchange for providing this, employees forfeit the right to sue their employers for any injury suffered on the job. In addition, while it covers medical expenses, employees do not get compensation for pain and suffering.
Although most organizations have workers’ compensation, its workings remain confusing for many employees. For example, one of the questions many people ask is whether they can choose their doctor in a workers’ compensation claim. Our workers’ compensation lawyers answer that question and more in this article.
Your Action Plan After an Injury at Work
You need to act fast as soon as you get injured at work. The first thing you need to do is report the incident to your employer. This ensures that they can keep a record and keeps them in the loop. After doing this, they are expected to report the case to their insurance company.
Bear in mind that there are timelines for when you should report your injury, so you should do it as soon as you can. Then, hopefully, your employer and their insurance company do the right thing and start the process of providing you with the benefits that are due to you.
However, they may not do that, and you need to get an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. In addition, as we pointed out, the workers’ compensation law can be confusing for many people, so you need an expert who clearly understands what needs to be done to work with you.
Who Chooses the Doctor in My Workers’ Compensation Case?
Not everyone is comfortable being treated by a doctor they do not know or trust hence this question. The doctor you were directed to may refuse to recommend advanced medical testing or does not seem to take your case seriously. This could make you want to change your doctor. However, who chooses the doctor in your workers’ compensation case will depend on the state you work in, as the rules vary in different states.
In some states, workers must see the doctor recommended by their employer’s insurance company. In some others, you can choose your doctor. However, choosing your doctor comes with some risk, as you could be accused of not having serious injuries and trying to defraud your employer.
In Florida, the insurance company chooses the doctor to treat a workplace injury, not the patient. Fortunately, the insurance company’s decision is not final, and you can change your doctor if you do not think you can trust them. In this case, you need to submit a written request asking to change your doctor.
The insurance company is mandated to respond to your request with a new suggestion within five days. However, if they do not, you can choose a different doctor, and they’ll still cover the expenses. Requesting a new doctor does not always solve the problem and still carries some risks.
For one, you are only allowed to change doctors once, and even then, the insurer chooses who this doctor will be. Secondly, you may still have the same problems with your new doctor as the old one. Finally, because you are only allowed one change, you cannot return to the previous doctor if it turns out that they are better than the second one.
Some cases may be unique, and you may have to speak to a lawyer to get a legal opinion tailored to your specific needs. However, if you have a medical emergency, you may be able to pick your doctor. Another case will be where your employer or insurer fails to provide you with treatment.
You deserve to get the best medical attention if you ever get injured at work. Sometimes, that could mean seeing a different doctor from the one suggested to you. Unfortunately, you may get some pushbacks in your bid to do this. This is because insurance companies do well when they reduce how much they pay out to policyholders. So, get a work comp lawyer to represent your interest.
Talk to South Florida’s Top Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
You have the right to get adequate medical attention if you are injured at work. Sometimes, the process can be complicated and require some expert help. Therefore, you’ll need experienced workers’ compensation lawyers to represent you and ensure you get what you deserve. Our lawyers have extensive experience dealing with workers’ compensation claims and will help you through any issues you have. So give us a call today and have one of our lawyers speak with you.