Work Accidents

Man in pain looking for an injury doctor after workers' compensation accident in New York

How to Choose The Right Worker’s Comp Doctor in New York

If you have been hurt at work and have decided to file a worker’s compensation claim, you need to see a doctor right away. Your doctor can not only help diagnose and treat you, but they can make sure that you have the proper documentation for your claim. However, not all doctors are the same when it comes to your worker’s compensation claim and choosing the wrong physician can slow down the process and potentially delay your compensation.

In larger markets like New York, there will be no shortage of doctors available to help you with treatment and to help provide you with the documentation you need for your claim. However, you need to know how to start the claim process correctly and choose the right physician, should you decide to change care providers later on. This overview will help you navigate the process, so you have the right professional on your side.

What to do after you were injured on the job

  1. Notify your employer in writing. You have up to 30 days to send the notice but should do it as soon as possible. Make sure to describe the circumstances of your accident and the extent of your injuries in detail.
  2. Seek Medical Treatment. Except in cases of medical emergency, you have to make sure that your doctor is authorized by the NYS Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB). You don’t have to pay out-of-pocket or use your private health insurance. The doctor will file a claim directly with the Board.
  3. File your claim on C-3 Employee Claim Form with the NYS WCB Board. Although technically you have up to two (2) years to do it, you should file it as soon as possible. If you’ve had a prior injury to the same body part, then you must file the Limited Release of Health Information (Form C-3.3)

The Initial Treatment

In most cases, you can choose any medical provider to treat your on-the-job injuries as long as they are authorized by the NYS Workers Compensation Board.

However, in some situations, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance has Preferred Provider Organization or PPO. Your employer must provide you with at least two physicians in each applicable medical specialty as well as two  “in-network” hospitals you can visit. If you fail to have your initial assessment done by one of these in-network doctors, you may risk your entire claim and could end up not getting the benefits you are looking for.

Once you have completed your initial treatment with one of the PPO doctors, you can change doctors for continued treatment if you so choose. You can also stay with the same doctor through the course of your treatment. According to the NYS Worker’s Compensation Law, an injured worker can select any authorized health care provider to continue their treatments after 30 days from the initial treatment plan.

Once you have found a doctor you are comfortable with, remember that in New York, these health care providers are not allowed to bill you directly, after your appointment, they should send their bills and reports directly to the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board and your employer’s insurance company.

What Medical Services are Covered By Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Most medical services necessary to help get well following your injury are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance, and include the following:

  • Hospital Visits & Procedures
  • Medical Doctor Visits & Procedures
  • Chiropractic Treatment
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Dentistry
  • Podiatry
  • Diagnostic Resting (X-Ray, MRI, Cat-scan, etc)
  • Medical Equipment and Supplies

You can also be reimbursed for expenses incurred while traveling to receive your treatment, that’s why it’s important for you to keep associated records and receipts (mileage, public transportation, etc.). You can then submit all your travel expense receipts to the Board for reimbursement on the Form C-257, Claimant’s Record of Medical and Travel Expenses and Request for Reimbursement.

Tips for Choosing the Right Physician

You must be treated by a doctor that has been authorized by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) to treat work-related injuries file C-4  Authorization forms. Here are some of the best ways to find the right provider:

  • Ask your regular physician for recommendations
  • Look to family and friends to refer you to a provider they trust
  • Visit the New York Worker’s Compensation Board website to search for providers
  • Use Injured Call Today search engine results to find Worker’s Comp-Authorized Doctors

If you have decided to find your own board-authorized accident & injury doctor for your worker’s compensation claim, you want to make sure that you find someone you trust. Take the time to screen different doctors to find one you feel comfortable working with. Many times, with serious injuries such as this, you will need to see your doctor for multiple appointments.

You need to find someone that won’t rush you, that listens to your concerns and someone that you trust to handle all of the worker’s compensation paperwork. This is why finding a doctor with experience treating injured workers is paramount. At Injured Call Today, we’ve put together a list of top medical providers, authorized by the Board, that have the right experience and specialize in treating on-the-job injuries.

If you have been injured and are in the process of filing a worker’s comp claim—there may be a million things going through your mind at once. However, you need to make sure you are taking the time to find the right doctor and to go through the claim process in a correct and legal way. This is the best way to make sure that you not only get the compensation that you deserve and that you get it quickly all while getting the care you need to recover.