Can I See My Own Doctor?June 21, 2018
In addition to the physical pain that a workplace injury can cause, it can also cause a great deal of stress and emotional pain if the injury affects the worker’s ability to return to work and collect a paycheck. Fortunately, Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to employees who have been injured on the job. These benefits cover the costs of medical expenses, lost wages, prescription medication, and other costs related to the injury. However, the claims process can be overwhelming and there are misconceptions that employees have that should be clarified. One of the most common misconceptions is that injured workers must use a doctor that is approved by the Workers’ Compensation plan.
According to Maryland Workers’ Compensation law, injured employees are under no obligation to use the doctor that the employer’s insurance company recommends. The worker has every right to use his or her own doctor to treat the injury. This applies to specialists, including surgeons, chiropractors, and physical therapists, if the injury requires specialized treatment.
There are several reasons why choosing your own doctor is beneficial to an injured worker. First, the worker is not forced to be treated by a doctor that he or she is not comfortable with, or who does not have his or her best interests at heart. In addition, while the doctor chosen by the insurance company may be fine, their goal is to help the employee return to work as soon as possible. As a result, they may rush treatment and say that the employee is able to return to work before he or she is fully recovered. This can aggravate the existing injuries or lead to new, more severe injuries.
Using Your Own Doctor is Not Always Simple
While injured workers may seek treatment from a doctor of their choice, the doctor must be willing to accept payments under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation fee schedule. This dictates how much a doctor can charge the insurance company for a service. If the doctor is not willing to accept these payments, the injured worker will have to look for another doctor.
Most doctors’ offices will only agree to see Workers’ Compensation patients if they have prior authorization from the insurance company, although this is not required. They are afraid that they will not get paid if the insurance company does not authorize the visit. Some doctors avoid treating Workers’ Compensation patients because they do not want to be in a position where they need to go to court to be paid. A skilled Workers’ Compensation lawyer can provide the experienced legal counsel you need to secure the best medical treatment for your injury.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Secure Maximum Benefits for Injured Workers
If you or someone you know has been injured at work, and you have questions about your benefits and whether you can seek treatment from your own doctor, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will address all your questions and concerns and ensure that you receive the maximum benefits you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.