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Workers’ Compensation And Going To My Doctor

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2022 | Firm News

Many injured workers have concerns about the quality of treatment by their employer’s workers’ compensation doctor. In some cases, employees who disagree with their employer’s doctor’s diagnosis can seek a second medical opinion. However, you must get approval from the insurance company for them to pay for a second opinion.

The first step after getting injured in the workplace is to obtain medical care. In Iowa, the employer is responsible for paying for medical care for work related injuries.  Because they are paying for the medical care, they also get to tell you which doctors to see for your injury.  

Can I Go To My Doctor After Getting Injured In The Workplace?

In an emergency, you should seek medical attention first, then worry about getting to a doctor recommended by your employer. For injuries that aren’t emergencies, the employer has the responsibility to send you to a doctor of their choice. You cannot go to your own personal doctor without the approval of the employer if you want them to pay for the visit and treatment. 

What Can I Do If I Don’t Agree with the Treatment Recommendations of the Employer’s Doctor?

It is common for workers’ compensation insurers to tell workers to seek treatment from particular doctors. The employer or insurer gets to choose the doctors because they are paying for the treatment. All payments (bills, medications, & treatment) are madhttps://nickplattlaw.com/common-workers-compensation-injuries/e to the doctors, not the worker. 

In some cases, the injured worker may disagree with the treatment recommendations of the company doctor.  In that case, the injured worker can request a second opinion.  If the employer denies the second opinion, they can file for alternate medical care with the Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner.

The injured worker is granted a hearing before a workers compensation judge to determine whether or not they can get treatment from a different doctor. This process is not easy, as the injured worker has to prove that the recommended care is unreasonable.  While the injured worker may not like the recommendations of the company doctor, it is a difficult standard to prove that the care is unreasonable. If the judge decides the care that the employer is offering is reasonable, the employer will only be responsible to pay for that care. 

If the injured worker decides to not follow the recommendations of the company doctor, they can see their own doctor at their own cost. 

At the end of treatment by the company physician and the determination of any permanent damage from the work injury, the injured worker has the right to a one time evaluation from a doctor of his or her choice. This exam evaluates the extent of your injuries and any restrictions that he or she may need. It is important that you pick a doctor that is skilled in evaluation of permanent impairment and restrictions, because you only have one chance to have the insurance company pay for this evaluation from a doctor of your choice. 

It is very helpful to have a workers’ compensation attorney help you navigate the medical process of your claim.  Call Platt Law Firm to get advice on how to approach your medical treatment for your injury or what to do if you are dissatisfied with your medical treatment. We are here to help at 515-346-6659 or go to our website at www.nickplattlaw.com.