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Doctor Releases to Full Duty, I Don’t Think I Can Do the Job

You were injured in an accident while doing your duties as an employee for your employer at work. Thankfully, your employer was covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

A workers’ compensation claim was filed. You were approved by your employer’s insurer, and you have been receiving workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries that you sustained in the accident at work.

Released for full duty

Your injuries from the accident at work were of such a nature that you have missed several weeks of work. You have been seeing a doctor regularly. You go to the doctor and he or she releases you back to full duty.

The problem is you do not think that you can do full duty. You do not believe you are able to do the job that you were doing before the accident took place at work.

What options do you have? What can you do? Are you required to try and do full duty work even though you do not think you can do it? Will you lose your workers’ compensation benefits if you refuse to go back to work for your employer.

Who does the doctor favor

The truth is that some doctors favor the employer and their insurance company more than they do an injured worker. Many times, they release a worker back to full duty before the worker is truly ready. A doctor may even do this before really determining the true nature of a worker’s injuries.

On the other hand, the truth is that some doctors favor the injured worker more than the employer. These doctors are probably not going to clear you for full duty at work until they are sure that you have achieved maximum medical improvement (MMI).

If the doctor who is treating your injuries releases you to full duty, you do have to try and return to work or risk losing your workers‘ compensation benefits. If you go back to work and are not able to do your job because of your injuries, you should tell your supervisor and make an appointment with the doctor.

Ask the doctor

If you tell the doctor that you were not able to do full duty work because of your injuries and the doctor still thinks you are ready for full duty, you should ask the doctor to let you see another doctor for a second opinion. If the doctor will not agree to this, you can ask your employer’s insurance company to allow you to switch doctors. If they will not permit you to switch doctors, you can ask for an independent medical examination (IME).

The laws and procedures for challenging a doctor who has released you to full duty when you do not think you can do the job that you did before the accident are not the same in every state. It is important for you to have a workers’ compensation attorney standing with you who knows the workers’ compensation laws and procedures in your state. A workers’ compensation attorney will make sure that all of your rights are protected, and he or she will guide you through a complicated process.

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What if I Want to See Another Doctor

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.

Two Questions

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.

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