After being injured on the job, you will need to seek medical care for your work-related injury. When seeking medical treatment, it is important to understand how to choose your workers’ compensation doctor. This choice is a very personal one, as your doctor is a trusted advocate and also the person responsible for bringing you back to full physical and mental health.
In this post, our Mansfield workers’ compensation attorneys at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm answer your questions regarding medical treatment following a work injury.
Do I Have to See a Workers’ Compensation Doctor When I’m Injured at Work in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, you have the right to choose your treating physician when dealing with a workers’ compensation claim. However, your employer may require you to be examined by a physician of their choice or the choice of the insurance company. If you fail to submit to any reasonable exam, it could result in temporary suspension of your compensation payments.
While you do have the right to choose your own physician, the physician must have the employer’s insurance company’s approval to continue treatment over $750 worth of care unless that care is provided for emergency conditions.
Louisiana Revised Statutes 23:1121
Under Louisiana law (R.S. 23:1121), the injured workers have the right to choose their own doctor. The law also provides the right for the worker to select their own doctor in every field. For instance, if you need a neurologist, psychiatrist, or a chiropractor, you are able to choose your own doctor in each field.
Independent Medical Evaluations
If your doctor and the insurance company’s doctor do not agree about your medical condition or your need for medical treatment, you may need to receive an Independent Medical Examination (IME). Though you and your employer have the right to request an Independent Medical Examination, the expense will be paid by the insurance company.
Your attorney and the workers’ compensation insurance company should provide copies of your medical records to the physician that will perform the Independent Medical Examination. However, you are not to contact the doctor performing the IME other than to schedule the appointment and go to the exam.
The doctor that performs your IME will send the examination report directly to the Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation Medical Services Division or to the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation judge that will decide your case.
Choosing Your Workers’ Comp Doctor
Before choosing your doctor, you should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney. The best way to find the right doctor for a workers’ compensation claim is to take the recommendations of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. A good workers’ compensation attorney will oftentimes know who the best doctors are for specific types of workers’ compensation claims.
Your attorney will know who the best doctors are for different types of injuries. They will also know which doctors have a good reputation, which doctor’s offices are the most efficient and organized, and which have a history of fighting in workers’ compensation claims for an injured worker.
Choosing the insurance company’s doctor as your treating physician will likely end with the doctor declaring nothing is wrong with you or rushing you back to work prematurely. You should be looking for a first-rate doctor who is well-experienced with workers’ compensation and cares enough to fight for injured workers over insurance companies.
Why Your Choice of Doctor is So Important
Choosing the right doctor in an injured employee’s workers’ compensation case is crucial for a couple of reasons. The doctor should be someone that you can trust since the doctor will be a critical component of making important decisions that will impact your health and your workers’ compensation claim.
Find Out When, Where, and How to Get Medical Treatment in Your Workers’ Comp Case With the Help of Gordon & Gordon
If you’ve been hurt on the job, there are legal options available. All Louisiana employers are required to provide their workers with workers’ compensation benefits following a work-related accident. An experienced attorney can help ensure that your receive all the benefits you are entitled to in your workers’ comp claim.
Contact our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Gordon & Gordon if you or a loved one has been injured in a work-related accident. We proudly serve the entire Ark-La-Tex area. Call us today at (318) 716-4357 or complete our intake form today.