You Do Not Have to See the Company Doctor after a Workplace Injury
A workplace injury comes with a lot of uncertainty. Even in cases where the liability for the accident was clearly on the part of the employer, workers can face numerous challenges in the process of seeking benefits. It can seem like every move the employer makes is for its own best interests, and it can be easy for things to become adversarial.
One of the most common concerns workers have in workers' compensation cases is which doctor will be chosen to determine the extent of their injuries and what, if any, treatment is required. Workers have well-founded concerns about going to the company doctor because they fear that he or she will only give an answer that serves the company's interests.
At Karns & Kerrison, our experienced lawyers understand your concerns. We are committed to helping our clients get the medical treatment they need to recover from their injuries and move on with their lives. If you need assistance getting quality medical care, you can rely on our Providence workers' compensation attorneys to fight vigorously for your rights.
Answers to Common Questions about Choosing a Doctor
- What happens at my first doctor's visit? In the context of a workers' compensation claim, the purpose of your first doctor's visit is to assess your injuries and determine whether you are well enough to return to work in any capacity. Depending on the doctor's assessment of your condition, you may be able to return as normal or be given certain restrictions while you finish recovering. If your injuries are serious enough, you may be held out of work on a temporary or permanent basis.
- Can I choose my own doctor to examine me after a workplace injury? Yes. The good news is that you can choose your own first doctor. It is important to note that the doctor who gives you initial treatment at the emergency room or at work does not count as your first doctor. You will likely need to be examined by the company doctor at some point in the process, but having an independent diagnosis can help to establish your case.
- Does the doctor I choose have to be part of my employer's or its insurer's preferred provider network (PPN)? No. You can choose any doctor you trust to make a fair and objective assessment of your injuries.
- What if I want to switch doctors at any point? If you wish to change doctors, you may need approval first. At this stage, if your employer or its insurer has a PPN, you must choose a doctor in the network. If the medical provider you want to see is not listed in the PPN, you need approval from your employer or its insurer before you get treatment. Going to the new doctor before getting approval may mean you have to pay for the treatment.
- What are the rules for Massachusetts workers? In Massachusetts, employers are allowed to choose a doctor or hospital within their PPN for your first visit. You may choose your own medical provider for subsequent treatment. Your employer or its insurer may require you to see one of its doctors for periodic evaluations of your level of incapacity.
We Can Answer Your Questions during Your Free Consultation
Please schedule a free consultation with our Providence workers' compensation attorneys by calling locally 401-841-5300. You can also contact us online for an appointment. We can meet you at our offices in Providence or Middletown for your convenience. Most workers' compensation cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no attorney fees unless we win compensation for you.