Workers’ Compensation exists to provide medical and financial assistance to workers who become injured while at work. Under the law, employees have specific medical treatment rights. These rights, and the worker’s responsibilities, are explained in the Guide for Injured Workers published by the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Here is a basic explanation of your medical treatment rights under Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation when injured at work.
Your Right to File a Claim for Medical Treatment
Oklahoma employees whose employers are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance have the right to file a Workers’ Compensation claim if they suffer an injury or illness due to their job. You cannot be denied the opportunity to file a claim after an injury. Any attempt to prevent you from filing a claim is punishable by law.
Your Right to Reasonable and Necessary Medical Treatment
You have the right to receive any medical treatment that is reasonable and necessary for a compensable injury or illness. Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation law requires an employer to provide appropriate and necessary treatment within five days of receiving knowledge or notice that a work-related injury has occurred.
It is important to note that you must follow your doctor’s treatment plan to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits. Follow your doctor’s orders or attend appointments to ensure your benefits are completed on time.
Your employer has the right to choose the treating physician. If they fail to provide reasonable and necessary treatment within five days of receiving notice of your injury, you may choose your own treating physician.
Your Right to Request a Change of Treating Physician
Oklahoma law allows an injured worker to request a one-time change of treating physician when the employer is not a CWMP or qualified employer. An Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Attorney can help you file the appropriate form with the OK Workers’ Compensation Commission. If granted, your employer or their insurance carrier is typically requested to provide a list of three physicians from which you may choose.
Your Right to a Second Opinion
Another essential medical treatment right you have is the right to a second opinion. If you are unhappy with the medical treatment you are receiving or the diagnosis you have been given, you have the right to seek a second opinion from another doctor. This can help ensure that you receive the best care possible and that your injury is properly diagnosed and treated.
Your employer or their insurance carrier has the initial authority to determine whether a second opinion is needed.
Your Right to Appeal Any Decisions Concerning Your Medical Care
Injured employees have the right to appeal any decisions made by their employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance provider regarding their medical treatment. If your claim for medical treatment is denied, you can appeal the decision and request a hearing with the OK Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Your Right to Vocational Rehabilitation
You may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation if you cannot return to your pre-injury job or an equivalent one due to permanent restrictions. This can include job placement services after training for your new vocation. Injured workers eligible for Permanent Partial Disability are eligible for vocational rehabilitation.
Your Right to Continuing Medical Maintenance
You may be able to receive continuing medical maintenance after completing your initial treatment. Your treating physician or an independent medical examiner may recommend day-to-day maintenance of your condition if you are permanently disabled.
Know Your Medical Treatment Rights in Oklahoma
If you are injured or become ill due to your job in Oklahoma, you have fundamental medical treatment rights under Workers’ Compensation laws. The Armstrong Law Firm, PLC can help you understand these rights and ensure you receive competent and comprehensive care for your work-related injuries. Contact us today in Tulsa for a free consultation.