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Nuñez Law Firm

Injured Workers’ Right To Choose Doctor

Workers injured while on the job have a right to choose their own treating physician, except when the employer is self-insured.

If you qualify for workers’ compensation, all of your medical expenses that are reasonably necessary to returning you to your pre-injury condition must be paid. If you are permanently disabled, you may receive medical benefits for the remainder of your life in some cases.

When it comes to workers’ compensation claims and the right to choose your own doctor, our Attorneys can help at any phase of the claim.

Right To Choose Overview

If you’ve already seen the physician suggested by your employer, we can help make the case as to why you should be allowed to switch doctors. It’s not too late, but it’s critical that you contact us immediately before it goes any further. Our consultations are always free, so contact us today to get started.

If your injury is recent, and you’ve yet to see a physician, we’ll give you compassionate and reliable guidance on how to assert your right to see your own doctor and make sure that your employer and their agents aren’t trying to persuade you to do otherwise.

Choosing your own doctor is a right that you may inadvertently waive. You should be advised that once you sustain an injury and after informing your employer of the injury, you can be examined and treated by your doctor of choice. Your employer can have you examined once by a physician of its own choosing following the injury, but if you continue to see that doctor again, then he or she becomes your treating physician. Once this is established, it is difficult to change physicians.

Many injured workers make the mistake of having their treating physician be the doctor recommended by their employer, who is usually serving at the behest of the workers’ compensation insurer and who may be not be an advocate for you. This doctor’s priority may be to save the insurer money and to either allege that your injury is either contrived or pre-existing, or to get you back to work as soon as possible after minimal medical care. The doctor may also dispute whether you sustained a permanent injury or that your percentage of disability is lower than what it should be. For these reasons, it’s generally best to see your established doctor or to seek the care of a doctor other than the one provided to you through your employer.

Changing Physicians

Although it may be difficult, you can change physicians with the permission of the workers’ compensation insurer. If the insurer refuses, you must present a written application to the Industrial Commission of Arizona, the body that oversees and regulates workers’ compensation claims, and state your reason for changing your health care provider. Of course, your current treating physician can refer you to another doctor as well, including specialists.

Receiving treatment through workers’ compensation can be confusing, and it is best to have the help of an advocate on your behalf.

Our office regularly handles workers’ compensation claims and can assist you in ensuring you receive the appropriate amount of workers’ compensation benefits. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.