What if A Doctor Says You’re Fine After a Workers’ Comp Accident?

If you have been injured in an accident at work, one of the first things you will likely do is seek treatment from a medical professional. The job of a doctor treating an injured worker is to examine the general health of the patient, determine the nature and severity of any injuries, and determine whether the workplace accident is the cause of any injuries or conditions.

It sometimes happens that a doctor will find nothing wrong with you after a workplace accident, despite the patient complaining of pain or other injuries. You may wonder how this could happen or what the next steps are. Our Workers’ Compensation physicians are here to break down the process of seeking medical treatment during a workers’ comp what your options are if a doctor should say you are okay or clear you for work.

The Role of Physicians in a New York Workers’ Comp Case

After a workplace accident, the employee will likely seek medical care. An employee can choose to see a physician they are familiar with, a new physician of their choosing, or a company-recommended physician.

However, there may a list of doctors recommended by the workers’ comp insurance policy held by the employer. The workers’ comp insurance company may have a list of treatment providers from which the employee can choose to see for coverage under the workers’ comp plan.

Choosing a physician listed under workers’ compensation insurance plan may present no problem at all. Physicians’ duties are to first do no harm, and their loyalty is supposed to be to their client. Many physicians are honest and diligent and will report injuries truthfully.

However, some physicians who rely on business from the workers’ comp insurance company may minimize injuries or under-diagnosed patients to help the insurance company and continue to get more business. This is why it’s essential to do your research and seek out treatment from physicians who are trusted in the workers’ comp industry and have a good reputation of honesty on their clients’ behalves.

In New York, an injured employee can seek treatment from any doctor the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has authorized to treat workers’ comp clients.

What About IME Physicians?

Even if you’ve received treatment from a trusted workers’ comp physician, you may be asked by the workers’ comp insurance company to attend an IME (Independent Medical Exam) with a different medical examiner.

An IME is a medical exam conducted by someone who is hired by the insurance company. The role of this exam is to verify or potentially dispute the cause and nature of your industries. It’s not uncommon for an IME physician to issue a report that contradicts the findings of your original treating physician, prompting the reduction or termination of your workers’ comp benefits.

 

What Should You Do If a Doctor Finds Nothing Wrong with You?

If a doctor finds nothing wrong with you, several things may happen and a number of options that you have. Below, we go over what you can do in different situations if a doctor reports that you are fine after a workplace accident.

 

  • If your treating physician, who is unaffiliated with the insurance company, finds nothing wrong with you, then this is the worst-case scenario. In this case, there is not an argument that the doctor has mixed loyalties or has any incentive to underdiagnose you. The best option in this situation is to seek out a second opinion from a trusted workers’ comp physician.

 

  • If a physician under your employer’s workers’ comp insurance plan says you are fine, then you should seek out a second opinion from a workers’ comp physician with a good reputation in the industry. You may also consider going to a doctor who is unaffiliated with the workers’ comp insurance company, as you have the right to seek treatment from any New-York-State-Workers’-Compensation-Board-authorized doctor of your choice.

 

  • If an IME physician disagrees with your treating physician’s diagnosis or report, then these claims will typically be arbitrated. Arbitration means that someone will decide which doctor is more credible to determine whose medical report will prevail. If a workers’ comp attorney represents you, they can walk you through this process. Choosing a trusted and reputable doctor will ensure that their report will fare well in an arbitration situation. A doctor with a long history of good medical work and great results for his or her patients will be a hard opponent against an IME doctor.

The Bottom Line: Seek Out a Trusted New York Workers’ Comp Physician

If you have been injured on the job, you need a trustworthy, expert physician to diagnose you properly and to make sure you get the treatment you need. Workers’ Comp physicians listed in our directory have a long history of working with workers’ comp patients and have an upstanding reputation for doing right by their patients. Their loyalties are to you – their patient, regardless of who has requested them to do a medical exam, and we will document your injuries honestly and suggest a treatment plan designed to help you recover as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident and need help finding a reputable workers’ compensation doctor, call us today at 1-800-897-8440.

Workers Comp Doctor