Can Workers’ Compensation Claimants Change Doctors?

Posted by: Chris

Everyone knows it’s important to seek medical attention after an injury. Most people in this situation either go to the emergency room or make an appointment with the doctor they see on a regular basis. But, the rules are somewhat different for workers’ compensation claimants. An injured worker’s employer has the right to choose the physician that treats the victim. So, what happens if you’re not satisfied with the employer’s choice? Here’s what you need to know about changing doctors after a work-related injury:

Employers With Certified Workplace Medical Plans

Employers that are covered by certified workplace medical plans will choose a doctor for the injured worker that is within the plan’s network. If the injured worker is unhappy with the doctor, he has the right to request a different physician.

The injured worker must follow the certified workplace medical plan’s dispute resolution process in order to request a new doctor. The exact details of the process can vary depending on your employer’s certified workplace medical plan since each of them have unique dispute resolution processes.

Employers Without Certified Workplace Medical Plans

Employers still have the right to choose an injured worker’s treating physician even if they are not covered by a certified workplace medical plan. However, the process of requesting a different physician is different in this case. Injured workers who would like to see a different doctor can file an Application for Change of Treating Physician with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. If the request is granted, the employer will give the injured worker a list of three different doctors that are qualified to treat their injuries. The worker will then get to choose from these three doctors.

It’s important to note that the Commission only allows injured workers to change doctors once, so you should only use your one chance to change doctors when it is absolutely necessary. 

Many people are surprised at how complicated it can be to simply change doctors after a work-related injury. It may be frustrating to not be able to see any doctor that you’d like, but it’s important to follow through with the request if you are unsatisfied with the current physician. Remember, your health and safety should be your first priority.

Have you been injured at work? Let the knowledgeable attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. help. We guide injured workers through the process of filing for workers’ compensation to ensure they are treated and compensated fairly. Call 918-582-2500, toll free (800) 722-8880, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.