Workers' Compensation blog

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Picking a treating physician for your job-related injury

On behalf of Mitchell Law Corporation
October 31, 2019

The doctor-patient relationship is one of the more important ones in modern society. After all, you must reveal personal information to a physician. You must also work closely with your doctor throughout your recovery process. As such, you must choose the right physician for treating your job-related injury.

California workers’ compensation law outlines the process by which you may choose your physician. If you ever sustain an injury at work, you should understand how to pick a treating doctor. As you may suspect, if you make mistakes when choosing your healthcare provider, you may harm your workers’ compensation claim.

Seeing your own doctor

Whether you may choose your own physician as part of a workers’ compensation claim depends on a couple of factors. If you have previously notified your employer in writing that you wish to see your own doctor and your employer offers regular healthcare coverage, you can likely ask your primary care physician to treat you for your on-the-job injury.

Seeing the company doctor

There is a chance that you do not have a working relationship with a primary care physician. Even if you do, you may not have predesignated your treating doctor for work-related injuries. Either way, you may have to see a doctor selected by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. Sometimes, though, you may pick from a list of insurer-approved physicians.

Changing doctors

During examination or treatment for your work-related injury, you may decide you are not happy with either your physician or an insurer-designated one. Fortunately, you are probably not stuck with a doctor who does not meet your needs. That is, California law usually allows you to change doctors. Still, you must comply with certain procedures and timeframes to avoid harming your workers’ compensation claim.

If you sustain an injury at work, you may worry about supporting yourself and your family. You should not, though, have to work with a doctor ill-suited for your needs. By understanding how to choose a treating physician and how to change doctors, you can better plan for recovering completely from your work-related injury.

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