In a workers’ compensation case, who you choose to seek medical treatment from is an important part of the claim process. Selecting a trustworthy medical professional is crucial to ensuring that you not only get the treatment you need but that you are successful in your workers’ compensation claim. An experienced workers’ comp doctor will determine the cause of your injuries, and how severe they are, so you may wonder how you can choose the best workers’ compensation physician and whether you can change your treatment provider later. Below, we answer some commonly-asked questions about workers’ comp doctors and selecting and physicians in a workers’ compensation case.
In New York, you can choose any workers’ comp doctor who is authorized by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. This could include your primary treating physician, a specialist, a new doctor, or one recommended by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.
The caveat to this is that if your employer’s workers’ comp insurance policy has a network of preferred physicians that they use as part of its policy, you are required to seek treatment from one of those listed physicians within the first 30 days of your injuries in order to be covered for workers’ comp benefits under your employer’s policy.
When considering what physician to see for your workers’ comp case, do your research and make sure you choose a physician who has a good reputation and patient record in the workers’ comp industry. Choosing a workers’ compensation doctor who has a long history of treating workers’ comp patients and a reputation for serving those patients well will ensure that you get the treatment you need to heal, as well as maximize the success of your claim.
A common occurrence in a workers’ comp case is for the insurance company of your employer to request that you attend an Independent Medical Examination (IME). This is an examination where a physician hired by the workers’ comp insurance company will examine you to determine if your injuries are really as bad as you say they are and if your workplace accident was the cause of your injuries.
You may have heard that an IME physician will often issue a report that contradicts your doctor’s findings, leading your benefits to be reduced or terminated. You may wonder if you have to attend and if doing so will hurt your case.
Although you are not legally required to attend an IME, failure to do so may allow your employer’s workers’ comp insurance to terminate your benefits. Your best bet is to attend and treat the examination as any other medical exam. Be completely honest about your medical history and report any new injuries or symptoms.
If the IME doctor issues a report disagreeing with your original physician’s diagnosis, the arbitration will usually follow. If you have chosen a reputable professional in the workers’ comp industry and you have been completely honest, then an arbitrator may find that your doctor, and therefore his or her findings, is more reputable.
A workplace injury can be challenging to deal with, leading to pain, missed work, and hefty medical bills. Who you choose to treat your injuries is of the utmost importance to securing the success of your case and to make sure your recovery is as smooth as possible.
Our New York Workers’ Comp Doctors have treated many workers’ comp patients over many years, and we are skilled in the workers’ comp claims process. We can answer any questions you have about medical treatment in a workers’ comp case, and we will make sure you get the best treatment possible to help you recover from your injuries.
Call us today at (800) 897-8440, if you have any questions or need help finding an experienced workers’ compensation physician or have been injured on the job.
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