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Can I Choose My Own Doctor for Workers’ Compensation?

If a workplace injury requires emergency care, you can typically seek medical care from the nearest emergency department. For ongoing and continuing care, you could be required to receive treatment from a doctor in your employer’s network of approved health care providers. You can choose your own doctor for workers’ compensation from within this group.

If you are not satisfied with the care you receive, you can request a change. If you notified your employer prior to your accident of your preference for your existing doctor to treat any workplace injuries, their insurance company could make an exception. A workers’ compensation lawyer will explain your available options. 

Will Workers’ Compensation Benefits Pay My Own Doctor for a Work Injury?

If your employer is required to provide workers’ comp insurance, you are entitled to its medical benefits, including all required care, at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Workers’ comp may pay your own doctor if:

  • You properly notified your employer of your preference.
  • You made an appropriate notification in writing.

If you fulfilled all the requirements on your end, but your employer refuses to compensate your doctor, a workers’ compensation attorney can help. They will explain your rights and your employer’s responsibilities and advocate for the medical care you need and deserve.

What Medical Treatments Will Workers’ Compensation’s Benefits Cover?

Whether you see your own doctor on workers’ comp or the physician your employer chooses, your employer’s insurance company must cover the costs. All medical care required to treat your injury should be covered, including:

  • Emergency care
  • Hospital stays
  • Various therapies
  • Assistive devices
  • In-home support

Workers’ compensation benefits will also cover the costs of all required medications and any other expenses until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Stick to the treatment plan your doctor prescribes and continue to receive medical treatment until your doctor determines that you have achieved this goal and can return to work.

What If a Work-Related Injury Requires Long-Term Rehabilitation?

Even if you are approved to see your own doctor while on workers’ comp, this could change if you need long-term disability services your doctor does not provide. In that case, your doctor may recommend another provider or facility, and your employer may refer you to an in-network provider. 

Review the details of your injury and required treatments with your health care providers and our workers’ comp legal team. They will explain all the options available to you and help you obtain the medical care you require throughout your recovery. 

If your current health care team provides rehabilitative care, your lawyer will fight for your right to have your own doctors to treat a workplace injury.

Is Medical Care the Only Benefit Available From a Workers’ Comp Award?

An injury severe enough to prevent you from working can also prevent you from supporting your family. When you receive worker’s comp, its benefits may include lost income compensation. You can expect to receive approximately two-thirds of your average weekly salary. 

In general, financial compensation awards include:

  • Temporary total disability if you cannot work at all for a limited time
  • Temporary partial disability if you can do some work, but not your previous job, for a limited time
  • Permanent partial disability if you cannot fully perform your previous job due to a permanent injury
  • Permanent total disability if you cannot work at all due to a permanent injury 

The amount of wage loss benefits you require and how long you can receive them will vary. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you fight to have your injury and disability rating accurately assigned so you can get the right amount of support for the right amount of time.

What If a Workers’ Comp Application Was Denied?

Many applications for workers’ comp might face an initial denial of benefits. Even if your initial application was denied, you can still receive benefits after filing an appeal. If a workers’ comp attorney represents you, they will:

  • Examine your letter of denial
  • Review your original application
  • Collect additional medical evidence
  • Communicate with the insurance company
  • Represent you at worker’s comp hearings

A denied application after a workplace injury can be frustrating and stressful. If this happens in your case, you do not have to accept it as a final answer. A local workers’ comp lawyer will explain your options and fight hard for the benefits you need and deserve.

Get Help With Your Health Care Choices After a Workplace Injury

If you or a loved one was injured at work, you might be more comfortable choosing your own doctor for workers’ compensation care. If you previously notified your employer of your preference, our law firm can help. Contact one of our KJT Law Group team members at (818) 507-8525 today for a free consultation.

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