You have been injured in an accident at work while performing your duties as an employee for your employer. Your employer is covered by workers’ compensation insurance, and a workers’ compensation claim has been filed.
However, there is a problem. For one reason or another you are not satisfied with the doctor who is treating you. You would like to see another doctor. Does workers’ compensation allow you to see another doctor, and if so, “Is your employer responsible for paying another doctor?”
The answer to these two questions depends on the state that you live and work in. This is because workers’ compensation and the way that it is administered is not the same in every state. Here are some examples:
In Texas – You are allowed to pick the doctor who treats you, but that doctor has to be willing to accept workers’ compensation insurance. The thing that may make this difficult is that doctors have been treated so unfairly by insurance companies in Texas that many doctors will not accept a workers’ compensation case. You are also allowed to change doctors in Texas, but you have to do so in the proper way according to workers’ compensation laws in Texas.
In Arkansas – You have to go to the doctor that your employer or your employer’s insurance provider picks out. If you are not satisfied with the doctor, you are allowed to request a change through your insurance adjuster, or you can write to the Workers Compensation Commission in Arkansas and request a change of doctor.
In Louisiana – You have the right to choose one treating physician in any specialty or field that is deemed medically necessary. After making this initial choice, you have to get prior consent from your employer’s insurer if you want to change the doctor within that same specialty or field who is treating you.
In California – You can pick your doctor if you predesignated a doctor with your employer. If not, you have to see your employer’s doctor for the first 30 days. Then, you are permitted to switch to a doctor of your choice.
In Mississippi – Your employer is allowed to determine who will treat your injury right after the accident takes place. However, you are then allowed to be treated by a doctor of your choice or one that your employer chooses. You can change doctors, but your employer or his insurer has to pre-approve the change. If your choice of doctors is denied, you have to apply to the Workers’ Compensation Commission in Mississippi for approval of a change.
You can change doctors
The important thing to notice in each of these examples is that if you follow the procedure that is approved by workers’ compensation laws in each state for changing doctors, you are allowed to change doctors, and your employer’s insurer is responsible for paying that doctor.
Because workers’ compensation laws are different in each state, it is wise to secure the services of a workers’ compensation attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney will make sure that you do everything in accordance with the workers’ compensation laws in your state.
- Injured in an Accident on the Job in Texas and Receiving Workers’ Compensation (usworkerscomp.com)
- Injured Because of a Fall at Work in California (usworkerscomp.com)