Getting a Second Opinion for a Workplace InjuryJuly 11, 2018
If you have been injured at work, it is critical that you seek medical attention from a skilled healthcare provider. However, you may have questions about the healthcare provider you are allowed to seek treatment from, and whether it will have a negative impact on your Workers’ Compensation claim.
If you are unsatisfied with the physician who treated you initially, and you would like to get a second opinion, you may be unsure about how to proceed, and who to turn to for help. It is important that you understand your rights, so that you can obtain the best medical treatment and return to work fully healed.
When pursuing a second opinion, it is crucial that you find a doctor that has your best interests at heart. A true second opinion is performed by a doctor who has been chosen by you, the injured worker, and not by the insurance adjuster.
When the physician examines the patient, and is considering treating him or her, a doctor-patient relationship is formed. The doctor will determine the best treatment plan based on what is best for the patient, rather than a quick fix that will get the patient back to work as soon as possible.
Second Opinion Vs. Independent Medical Evaluation
It is very important that you understand the difference between a second opinion and an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME). One of the key differences between the two is that with an IME, the insurance adjuster is involved in selecting the second opinion doctor.
In many cases, the adjuster’s main goal is to save money, stop expensive medical treatments, and ultimately give the employee approval to return to work. If a second opinion doctor is recommended to you by an insurance adjuster, either proceed with caution, or refuse to see that doctor and seek treatment by a doctor of your choosing.
While you are not required to use a doctor that is recommended by the insurance adjuster, you are obligated to attend an IME if the insurance adjuster schedules one, according to Maryland law. The IME provides a second opinion for the insurance adjuster about the worker’s injury and treatment plan.
In addition, your employer may require you to be seen by one of their physicians at a clinic of their choosing. You cannot be forced to see a doctor that you are not comfortable with, but if your employer requires that you make an appointment with a specific physician, refusing to do so could result in termination. It is also important to confirm that any physician you seek treatment from accepts Maryland Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
All of these factors are why consulting a Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyer can provide you with peace-of-mind, so that you can focus on your healing.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Injured Workers
If you have been injured at work, the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side. We will address all of your questions and concerns about the benefits that you are entitled to, including whether you can get a second opinion from a doctor of your choice. Our dedicated team will secure the maximum benefits that you deserve and will protect your rights every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.