In 2017, 2.8 million work-related injuries and illnesses occurred in US workplaces. The following year, roughly the same number of workers became injured and sick.
If you’re one of these employees, know that you have the right to fair compensation. After all, it’s very likely that you’re one of the 140 million US workers with workers’ compensation.
To get your deserved coverage though, you need to get in touch with a workers’ comp doctor. You’ll be working with this medical professional throughout your workers’ comp claim.
The question is, what exactly is the role of these doctors? What will they do for you and can you choose any doctor you prefer?
We’ll answer all these questions in this post, so be sure to read on!
1. A Workers’ Comp Doctor Specializes in Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
A workers’ comp doctor treats people who suffered a work-related injury or illness. Many others also provide an independent medical examination for workers’ compensation claims.
Their main goal is to establish that your condition is work-related and if you can still go to work. They will provide your treatment, prescribe your medications, and monitor your recovery.
A workers compensation doctor can be an orthopedic surgeon, neurologist, or spine specialist. There are also physical therapists and chiropractors who work as workers’ compensation doctors.
Now, you may be wondering why you shouldn’t just see your primary physician. If your injury or illness has anything to do with your employment, you need to see a workers’ comp doctor. Otherwise, you may end up not being able to receive your workers’ comp benefits.
2. Your Employer May Require You to See a Specific Doctor
The state where you work (and live) may allow you to have the first choice in a workers’ comp doctor. This doesn’t apply to all states though, where the employer has the choice and final say.
In these states, the employer chooses exactly who the initial treating doctor is. They may also require you to see a specific doctor for ongoing treatment and recovery.
Seeing any other doctor not chosen by the employer can lead to a workers’ comp claim becoming invalid. So before looking for workers’ comp doctors, make sure you check with your employer first.
3. These Medical Professionals Are Key to a Successful Workers’ Comp Claim
At the end of the day, you need to work with your workers’ comp doctors to secure your benefits. It is their word, after all, that will influence the outcome of your workers’ comp claim. That’s why it’s vital to see a workers’ comp doctor who will focus on healing you.
What if you think that your workers’ comp doctor lied or you simply aren’t satisfied? In this case, it may be possible to seek a second opinion or switch doctors.
Almost all states allow workers to change treating doctors at least once. Contact your state’s workers’ comp board to confirm if this applies to your case.
Get the Medical Care You Deserve With the Right Treating Doctor
There you have it: the key facts you need to know when choosing and working with a workers’ comp doctor. Now that you know who they are and what they do, be sure to check your rights. If your state allows you to choose your doctor, then, by all means, exercise your right.
Looking for more tips to get your health back in tip-top shape? Then don’t forget to head over to this site’s Health section for more guides like this!