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Workers Compensation Doctors – Can I See My Own Doctor

• Feb 26th, 2013

When you are injured on the job you should be given the opportunity to choose a workers compensation doctor from the posted panel of physicians.  It is required under Georgia law that the employer maintain a workers compensation panel of six doctors.  The employer should not just tell you which doctor to go see but rather let you choose a doctor from the panel.  Once you are injured on the job ask your employer to see the panel of Workers Compensation Doctors.

You cannot just treat with your personal doctor and expect the employer to pay the bills and pay weekly compensation.  If the employer has a valid panel then you must see their Workers Compensation Doctors.

What If Employer Does Not Have A Valid Panel Of Workers Compensation Doctors

If the employer does not have a properly posted panel you are entitled to see your own doctor.  Usually the employer will just tell you what clinic to go to rather than follow the law and let you choose.  You need to know that you have the RIGHT to choose your own doctor if the employer does not have a valid panel of workers compensation doctors posted.

What If You Are Not Happy With Your Workers Compensation Doctor

If you begin treating with a company doctor after your on the job injury and you really do not feel like this doctor is helping you, what can you do?  Georgia workers’ compensation law allows you to make a one-time change from one doctor on the panel to another doctor on the panel of workers comp doctors.  If the initial doctor is not addressing your injury or taking into consideration your concerns then you do have a right to switch doctors.  You must tell the employer or the insurance adjuster that you wish to change to another doctor on the workers compensation panel of physicians.

You Have A Right To A Second Opinion Under Workers Compensation

Often the insurance company will tell you that you have a right to a second opinion and not a change.  This is not true.  You do have a right to a one-time independent medical examination with a doctor that you choose.  This is a second opinion with a doctor that you choose and the insurance company pays the doctor’s bill.  This is not the same as your right to change physicians.  Do not let the insurance company tell you that they will arrange for a second opinion.  Know your rights!  Tell the insurance company or employer that you want to exercise your right to change doctors from one doctor on the posted panel of workers comp doctors to another.

Once you have changed you cannot again change doctors.  Although, your lawyer can file a motion with the court at some point for a change of physician.  The right is no longer automatic after the first change.

If you have any questions or would like to talk more about your situation or your rights you can contact me at Sunne Law, or send me an email and I will be happy to answer your questions.


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