Is the Workers’ Compensation Doctor on Your Side?
When you’re injured at work in South Carolina, you may wonder who will have your best interests in mind as you navigate the workers’ compensation process. One of the most important players in your claims process is your workers’ compensation doctor. While your employer or their insurance company may select the doctor who will treat you, they do not have control over the medical diagnosis and treatment.
The doctor who handles your workers’ compensation case is vital in evaluating, diagnosing, and monitoring your health. They will also determine the amount of time you need off work, work restrictions, and the extent of your permanent disability. Their decision can significantly impact your workers’ compensation case, and they are a crucial source of evidence for your injury. A good doctor should be impartial to your case, but even still, it’s normal to have questions about what is within your rights when selecting a workers’ compensation doctor so that you can best protect your case going forward.
Below are some of the most common questions we receive from clients about selecting a workers’ compensation doctor.
Who Selects My Workers’ Compensation Doctor?
It’s essential to understand that even if your employer or insurance company chooses your doctor, their primary responsibility should be to you as the patient rather than your employer or insurer.
Unfortunately, there have been instances where doctors appeared to show favoritism towards the corporation that paid them. If you suspect your doctor is not impartial, it’s crucial to speak with your workers’ compensation lawyer in South Carolina immediately. They can assist you in ensuring that the doctor follows the highest medical standards and prioritizes your well-being rather than the interests of the insurance company.
Can You Choose Your Own Workers’ Compensation Doctor in South Carolina?
It’s important to understand that in non-emergency cases of workers’ compensation, you cannot select your own doctor. Your employer or their insurance representative will choose a doctor for you. This is necessary for you to receive payment for medical expenses such as surgery, hospitalization, medical supplies, prosthetic devices, and prescriptions.
Are There Any Exceptions to Seeing an Approved Doctor?
If you sustain an injury while at work, you may be able to visit your doctor in some cases. Certain states have laws that permit this if you experience a medical emergency or if your employer fails to provide you with a list of approved physicians or access to a “company doctor.”
However, if your employer has the right to choose your medical provider according to your state’s laws, but you want to see your own doctor or have already done so, it is recommended that you speak with a lawyer right away to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.
What are the Consequences of Not Seeing an Approved Doctor?
If your state’s law requires you to see an approved doctor for workers’ compensation, going to your own doctor could lead to a denial of benefits. It’s important to note that each state has different rules, and there may be exceptions. However, if you’re having trouble getting the benefits you deserve, an attorney may be able to assist you in securing them. Consulting with a legal professional is the best way to ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to.
What If I Have a Claim Outside of Workers’ Comp?
If your claim falls outside of workers’ compensation, it’s best to consult an independent doctor without affiliation with your employer. However, even if you have a workers’ comp claim, it’s still advisable to seek a second opinion from an independent doctor. This ensures that you receive unbiased and high-quality medical advice rather than relying solely on your approved doctor, who may be influenced by your employer’s insurance company.
Should I See a Doctor or Talk to a Lawyer After Getting Hurt at Work?
If you require immediate medical attention, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a doctor without delay. However, if your situation is not urgent, it would be wise to consider consulting a lawyer. An experienced lawyer from your area can provide information on your state’s legal requirements and even connect you with a suitable doctor if necessary.
Your workers’ compensation doctor plays a crucial role in your case, and ensuring they are impartial and working for your benefit is essential. Hiring an adept and skilled workers’ compensation attorney is the best step you can take to ensure you are adequately reimbursed for your medical injuries. A workers’ compensation attorney will help guide you and ensure that the medical treatment you receive is fair and unbiased. They can also help you to find the best workers’ compensation doctor for your needs.