- Although your employer or insurance provider may recommend a treating physician for your workers’ compensation case, you have the right to and should choose your own doctor.
- Always check that the doctor you choose is willing to treat work-related injuries.
- Choose a physician that specializes in treating your type of injuries and that you feel comfortable with.
- A good physician will accurately assess your injuries and and properly ensure your recovery.
- Your attorney may be able to recommend a trusted physician that they have worked with on a workers’ compensation claim before.
How to Choose a Doctor for a Worker’s Compensation Case
In Louisiana, an injured employee has the right to choose a treating physician in their workers’ compensation claim, and you should do so. Your treating physician will play a major role in your case. Often, when an employer or insurance provider chooses a physician to treat you, that physician may minimize your injuries in order to save the employer money. Therefore, choosing a good doctor is critical to your claim.
Things to consider when selecting your workers’ compensation doctor
First, make sure that any potential physicians are willing to work with you. Not all doctors treat patients involved in workers’ compensation cases. There are specific fee schedules and rules for treating those with work-related injuries which make these cases more complex. It is also helpful if your doctor has prior knowledge of the workers’ compensation claim process.
You want to make sure that you will have a good doctor-patient relationship with the doctor you choose. There are many considerations to take into account when selecting a physician such as:
Convenient — Make sure that their office hours and location will be convenient for you, as you may be seeing this physician often.
Trusted — It is also wise to seek out a physician that is certified in the specialty your injury requires. For example, if you have broken a bone, you should find a doctor that is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Comfortable — Above all, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with your physician and that they will support you in your Worker’s Compensation claim.
How does your workers’ compensation doctor affect your claim?
A good physician will make sure that you properly recover and will accurately assess your injury and its lasting effects on your ability to work. Your doctor will be determining the diagnosis of your injury, requesting approval for medical treatment, how much time off you will need to recover and if and/or when you will be able to return to work and in what capacity. These are just a few of the many factors that directly affects your claim and ultimately the value of your settlement.
Searching for a doctor to meet all of these qualifications may seem overwhelming. But your attorney will very likely have some physicians in mind to refer you to. If your attorney does recommend a doctor to you, it is likely that this doctor has a good reputation and has previously worked on workers’ compensation claims with your attorney. Take their recommendations seriously — your attorney wants you to be successful in your workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation claims are complex matters. Hiring an experienced attorney to help you through this trying time is invaluable. Contact our office today for a free evaluation and to see how we can help you through this process.