Workers’ Compensation FAQ: Can I Get A Second Opinion?


Posted by: Chris

The workers’ compensation system provides benefits to workers who have suffered work-related injuries. Under this system, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide medical treatment to injured workers. But, what if you do not agree with the doctor’s diagnosis or treatment plan? Are you allowed to seek a second opinion? Here’s what you should know:

Medical Treatment After Work-Related Injuries

You will need to notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible. Once an employer has been notified, they have five days to provide you with medical treatment for your injuries. The employer has the right to choose the doctor, however you can choose the doctor if your employer has not provided treatment within five days of learning of your injuries.

Getting A Second Opinion

It is up to the insurance carrier or employer to determine if a second opinion is needed. If it is needed, the insurance carrier will provide authorization to another doctor so he or she can evaluate your condition. The insurance carrier will typically ask for a second opinion when they do not agree with the initial doctor’s diagnosis or treatment plan.

Requesting A New Doctor

Ultimately, the insurance carrier or employer gets to decide whether or not you should seek a second opinion. However, if you are not happy with the initial doctor’s services, it is possible to change to a new doctor. This means you are not simply seeking a second opinion from another doctor, but rather replacing one doctor with another.

Start by figuring out if your employer has contracted with a certified workplace medical plan (CWMP). If your employer is not contracted with a CWMP, you will need to request a new doctor through the Workers’ Compensation Commission. You will get to choose the new doctor from a list of three physicians provided by your employer. However, it’s important to note that the Workers’ Compensation Commission can only approve one change of physicians, so you cannot request multiple changes.

If your employer is contracted with a CWMP, the dispute resolution process outlined in the CWMP must be followed in order to request a new doctor. The State Department of Health can provide you with more information on this process.

Have you been injured at work? If so, contact the attorneys from Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. as soon as possible. Our experienced attorneys assist clients with every step in the complex process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.