Can I See My Own Doctor With Workers' Compensation?
Workers’ compensation can be paid to individuals that have been injured at work, or have contracted a work related illness. An important part of workers’ compensation claims are the medical documents that can prove an injury or illness has left an injured worker unable to return to work. In order for your workers’ compensation claim to be approved, you must have seen a medical professional. In case of a work related injury or illness, it is vital for your own wellbeing that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Additionally, the medical records of these visits can be used as evidence for your worker’s compensation claim.
If you have been in a workplace accident, or you have contracted an illness from work, speak with a Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation attorney regarding your case. Workers’ compensation claims are difficult to navigate, the chance of your claim being successful is much higher with experienced representation on your side. The experienced attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have over three decades of experience with workers’ compensation cases, and will fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. Call 617-225-2100 for a free consultation today.
MA Workers’ Compensation: Can I See My Own Doctor?
Generally, yes, you can see your own doctor. In certain cases, the Department of Industrial Accidents or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may need to choose and/or approve of your medical physician.
For example, if you have entered into a “Preferred Provider Agreement” with your employer or workers’ compensation insurer, you will be required to have your first medical appointment with a doctor chosen by your employer (or their workers’ compensation insurer). This first appointment is referred to as the impartial physician examination. However, you have the ability to choose your own health care provider for all other appointments.
Some employers offer employer designated clinics. These clinics are made up of company doctors, which may lead to issues with objectively treating and diagnosing your injuries/illnesses.
What Is the Role of Your Doctor in Workers’ Compensation Cases?
Your physician must:
- Decide whether or not to authorize your absence from work
- Dictate whether or not you are eligible for part time or light duty work
- Determine when your medical condition has fully healed, or has reached maximum medical improvement
- Determine the severity of your injury
- Refer you to any necessary specialists or other medical providers
- Approve any specialized treatment to be covered by workers’ compensation benefits
How Do I Find A Doctor For My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A workers’ compensation attorney can provide you a list of doctors that are willing to see patients for workplace injuries/illnesses. You can also get a referral from your primary care physician or at the emergency room, but it can still be difficult to secure a doctor for your case. Many doctors refuse to take any workers’ compensation cases, and other doctors limit the amount they take on. This is due to the fact that workers’ compensation cases are firmly regulated, and doctors must charge less for these cases in comparison to private insurance companies or self paying patients. Doctors may also reject workers’ compensation cases due to the added effort of legal paperwork and any legal proceedings. Talk with a workers’ compensation attorney about the specifics of your case. Call 617-225-2100 for a free case evaluation.
Do I Have To See A Doctor For My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
It is not legally required for you to see your own doctor, however it is strongly recommended in order for your claim to be approved. In some circumstances, you are required to have a medical evaluation taken in order to submit a workers’ compensation claim. For instance, you may be required to see a doctor if there are disputes regarding the severity of your injuries. Basically, any dispute that requires further medical evaluations may require you to visit a doctor.
In cases where you are appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim, the other party has the right to approve or deny your doctor. Additionally, you (the injured worker) must agree to see a doctor that has been selected by the other party. The doctor needs to determine whether or not the disability exists, whether the injury/disability was predominantly caused by one’s employment or duties associated with their employment, as well as the severity of the injury.
If you have received a notice to submit required medical evaluation, and you do not submit any documentation, your workers’ compensation benefits can be suspended.
When Should I See A Doctor For My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
As soon as possible. It is important to have medical records of your injury and treatment for your claim to be approved. You are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after you have missed 5 calendar days of work due to your injury. The days do not need to be consecutive. Once you have become eligible, the DIA evaluates your medical records for your claim. If there is a gap of time between your injury and a visit to a doctor, this time gap may be used to illustrate that this was not a work related injury, leading to a denial of your claim.
The Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) decides the outcomes of worker compensation cases. The DIA will decide to approve or deny your claim for a number of reasons, including information regarding your physician, medical treatment, and the injured parts of your body or the work related illness you have contracted. After a workplace injury, notify your employer of the incident prior to receiving medical care. Visiting a doctor is beneficial to establish medical documentation for your injury. This is helpful in all workers’ compensation claims, regardless of the severity of the injury. Even if you do not believe you have been badly injured at work, you should still seek medical attention for evidence to support your claim.
Contact An Attorney
The workers' compensation system in Massachusetts covers the costs of medical treatment associated with the injury, lost wages, vocational training and rehabilitation, death benefits for surviving benefits, etc. Additionally, some workers' compensation cases can qualify for workers' compensation settlements. This depends on the circumstances of the case. Talk to a workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
The attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have over 30 years of experience and will work to ensure that you have the best possible chance for a successful claim. If you have been injured at your workplace, it is vital that you contact a workers’ compensation attorney to go over your options for benefits. In some cases, third parties may be liable for workplace injuries, and you may be entitled to additional compensation. Call 617-225-2100 for a free consultation today.