When Should I Visit a Workers’ Comp Doctor?
Suppose you have been involved in a work accident or experienced a work injury. In that case, you should see a medical provider immediately to avoid any complications. However, if your work injury is not an emergency, you should first inform your employer before taking further steps. This approach would help you avoid any issues with your proceeding to the next stage and avoid issues with your claim for financial compensation.
You should know that work-related injuries are not limited to injuries sustained from sudden accidents at work. They include any deterioration of your health and physical well-being over time due to your profession and line of work.
It is the job of your treating doctor to determine the extent of your work injury, establish its severity, and recommend medical treatment. The doctor also determines the amount of time you need to rest from work to promote full recovery. When you have seen a treating physician, you should proceed with your workers’ compensation claim to receive your benefits.
However, the process of claiming your compensation may turn out to be quite challenging, and you may encounter some uncooperative personalities. In that case, you might need a top-notch lawyer for workers’ comp to guide you through the workers’ comp claim process.
How to Find a Workers’ Comp Doctor
Workers’ compensation provides insurance for all necessary medical care and treatment for a work-related injury or illness. The services provided include physical therapy, medical examination, and other treatments.
If you need to find a workers’ comp doctor, you will typically need to rely on your employer’s direction. Your employer or insurance company usually has a list of doctors from which you can choose your treating physician.
In some cases, you might be allowed to change doctors or seek treatment with your preferred medical provider. This is usually after you must have seen the doctor selected by your employer for a stated period. However, you should seek legal advice from a workers’ comp attorney in your state before making such a move. It is better to be cautious by consulting your attorney to avoid jeopardizing your claim.
Can You Sue a Workers’ Comp Doctor for Malpractice?
While your employer or insurance company recommends the workers’ comp doctor, the attending physician must also perform his duties as a neutral professional. The doctor should examine the injured worker without bias and give an honest medical report based on their findings.
However, this may not always be the case. Because an insurance company appoints workers’ compensation doctors, you may find that they have not made an accurate representation of your state of health. This may have occurred to limit or reduce your benefits and wage payouts fraudulently. That way, the insurance company can save money since they do not have to compensate you fully.
The doctors who do this may be financially motivated to side with the insurance companies that employ them.
Suppose you are in such a position where you suspect that your health has been mismanaged or that your diagnosis or medical report is inaccurate. In that case, you might want to seek independent treatment from a different medical provider. This is crucial, especially if you discover that your health has not improved since the treatment commenced.
Workers’ compensation doctors are also not immune to lawsuits. Therefore, if you discover that the initial company doctor told a lie or has been dishonest in your treatment, you might be able to sue for medical malpractice. However, it would be inappropriate to sue your workers’ comp doctor for medical malpractice because of a personal gripe or because you didn’t like the outcome of your case.
Nevertheless, at this point, it would benefit you to hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney to determine your legal options and perhaps represent you in court.