Can I Choose My Own Doctor for a Work Injury in Pennsylvania?
When you are injured at work, it is important that you seek medical care, regardless of whether your injury seems minor or severe. However, you need to understand Pennsylvania’s laws governing the choice of a workers’ comp doctor. While you have the right to see any doctor you choose, that does not mean that the workers’ compensation carrier will pay the bill for you.
First 90 Days After a Work Place Injury
The first 90 days after a workplace injury are important. Pennsylvania’s workers’ comp laws allow your employer to choose your doctor during the first 90 days of treatment. In other words, your employer provides a list of approved doctors, and you must choose a doctor from that list. Again, you can see a doctor that is not on that list or seek a second opinion during the first 90 days, but the employer or the workers’ comp insurance company is responsible for paying the bills.
However, if the company doctor recommends invasive surgery, you have the right to seek a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing. If your doctor recommends surgery, a company-approved surgeon must perform the surgery if it is within the first 90 days.
After the 90 days expire, you can choose a doctor for yourself; however, you must provide at least one week’s notice to your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance provider.
Choosing the Best Workers’ Comp Doctor for You
The doctors on the list provided by your employer must be qualified physicians. Therefore, you may find a doctor on the list that you trust. Regardless of whether you stay with a doctor on that list or choose another doctor after 90 days, a crucial factor to consider is whether you have a good patient-doctor relationship. You need a good relationship with your doctor because your workers’ comp case could be a lengthy process, depending on the type of injury and the severity of the injury.
In addition, you should choose a doctor that has experience in handling your medical condition. Doctors who specialize in a certain area of medicine usually have more knowledge about the condition and the various treatment options for the condition.
You also want to make sure that your physician understands the workers’ comp procedures and the importance of carefully considering whether you suffered permanent damage. Your doctor should not feel compelled to downplay the severity of your injury because the doctor is on the employer’s approved physician list. A prognosis of permanent impairment can substantially impact your final workers’ compensation settlement.
What Should I Do If I Believe My Doctor Favors My Employer or the Insurance Provider?
If you believe you are not receiving the care you need, it is important to seek help from an experienced Erie workers’ comp attorney. You need to take steps to protect your legal rights and your health. Therefore, if you have questions or concerns about the medical care you receive after a work-related injury or illness, we urge you to contact our office to discuss your case with our Erie workers’ compensation attorney.
Choose the Right Erie Workers’ Compensation Attorney for You
If you are injured on the job, you need an aggressive attorney who Contact The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to request a free legal consultation with our Erie workers’ compensation attorney. It does not cost you anything to get the legal advice you need to protect your rights and best interest.