Can you see your own doctor to treat your injury in a workers’ compensation case? The answer is no, not necessarily.
In this blog post, we’ll explain why, and what you can do about this situation if it becomes a problem.
Most Florida employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This policy is intended to pay for the medical care of any employees who are injured on the job.
As part of this system, employers send their injured employees to approved health care providers who can be paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Note that if you need emergency treatment after your injury, you do not have to wait until you find an approved provider. However, it is best if you inform the emergency room staff that your injury occurred at work. This can get the workers’ compensation process started.
Also note that your own health insurance policy may specifically refer you to the workers’ compensation system if your injury occurred at work.
A second opinion
Approved providers are licensed professionals, and theoretically at least, you can expect them to give you care that is up to professional standards. Still, many injured employees feel that their approved providers do not take their injuries seriously enough. Some disagree with the treatment or their diagnosis, and many feel that an approved doctor is sending them back to work before they feel ready for it.
If you’re in this situation, you can change to a different approved doctor. However, you can only change your doctor once in the workers’ compensation system.
If you don’t like what the second doctor says, your options are limited. One thing you can do is request an independent medical examination with a doctor of your choice. Unfortunately, you will have to pay for this yourself, but it may be worth it to you in the long run.
Learn about your options
There may be a point in your case in which you need to appeal a workers’ compensation decision. When that happens, it’s a good idea to have legal representation. However, the appeals stage is not the only time when it is useful to have experienced advice. It can be useful to speak with a professional about your options throughout the workers’ compensation process.