Can I Choose My Own Doctor for a Workers’ Comp Claim?


Posted by: Chris

People who sustain workplace injuries typically want to be treated by a doctor they know and trust. But, is seeing your personal doctor after a workplace injury an option? 

Employers are legally required to provide medical treatment within five days of learning of an employee’s work-related injury. Since your employer is providing the medical treatment, they get to choose the doctor who treats you. 

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 or she has the right to request a different physician.

You 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.

The rules are different if your employer does not provide medical treatment within this five-day time period. In this case, you are allowed to choose your own doctor since your employer failed to fulfill their legal obligation. Your employer still has to cover your medical expenses even though they did not choose the doctor. 

Changing Doctors After A Workplace Injury

You don’t have much control over which doctor you see immediately following a workplace injury. But, what happens if you’re unhappy with the doctor your employer chooses? 

It is possible to change doctors, but the process of requesting this change varies depending on whether or not your employer has contracted with a certified workplace medical plan (CWMP). If your employer has not contracted with a CWMP, you must ask the Workers’ Compensation Commission for approval to change doctors. If the request is approved, your employer will provide you with a list of three qualified doctors to choose from. The Workers’ Compensation Commission will not allow you to change doctors more than once, so make sure you research each name on the list to determine which doctor is right for you.

If your employer has contracted with a CWMP, you will need to contact the State Department of Health to provide you with more information on the steps you must take to request a new doctor. Even though you are allowed to change doctors, you cannot simply ask to see your personal doctor if you are unhappy with the doctor chosen by your employer.

Have you been injured at work? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our attorneys understand how work injuries can impact your life, which is why we will work tirelessly to ensure you are fully compensated through the workers’ compensation system. 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.