Seeing a new doctor for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. If you aren’t familiar with a doctor, you may not feel comfortable opening up about your medical history or taking his advice. Because of this, people who sustain workplace injuries typically want to be treated by a doctor they know and trust. But, is seeing your personal doctor after a workplace injury an option?
Seeking Medical Attention After A Workplace Injury
Employers are legally required to provide medical treatment within five days of learning of an employee’s work-related injury. Since your employer is providing the medical treatment, they get to choose the doctor who treats you.
The rules are different if your employer does not provide medical treatment within this five-day time period. In this case, you are allowed to choose your own doctor since your employer failed to fulfill their legal obligation. Your employer still has to cover your medical expenses even though they did not choose the doctor.
Changing Doctors After A Workplace Injury
You don’t have much control over which doctor you see immediately following a workplace injury. But, what happens if you’re unhappy with the doctor your employer chooses?
It is possible to change doctors, but the process of requesting this change varies depending on whether or not your employer has contracted with a certified workplace medical plan (CWMP). If your employer has not contracted with a CWMP, you must ask the Workers’ Compensation Commission for approval to change doctors. If the request is approved, your employer will provide you with a list of three qualified doctors to choose from. The Workers’ Compensation Commission will not allow you to change doctors more than once, so make sure you research each name on the list to determine which doctor is right for you.
If your employer has contracted with a CWMP, you will need to contact the State Department of Health. This department can provide you with more information on the steps you must take to request a new doctor.
So, although you are allowed to change doctors, you cannot simply ask to see your personal doctor if you are unhappy with the doctor chosen by your employer.
If you have been injured at work, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our attorneys have the legal resources and experience to handle the most complex workers’ compensation cases. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.