Suffering an on-the-job injury may be a serious blow, depending on the specifics of the injury itself and the treatment necessary to address it. While the victim may feel some relief that the injury occurred at work — and thus qualifies for workers' compensation — the approved doctor and treatment protocol may fall far from the provider and treatment plan preferred by the victim.
After a workplace injury, you may have many questions about your recovery and how to get the most out of your workers' compensation claim. This is a normal response, because most people do not have much experience with workers' compensation or the process of negotiating terms with their employers' insurance providers. Pursuing fair resolutions to your workers' compensation conflicts may prove very difficult if you are not already familiar with the system and the boundaries of what you should or should not expect out of your settlement.
Can you choose your doctor?
Unless you are very fortunate and already are a patient of one of the small number of medical care providers the insurer prefers, you probably do not have immediate access to the doctor of your choice.
However, with careful negotiation and knowledge of how to to navigate workers' compensation divisions within insurance providers, you may have more options than you realize. In many cases, you can negotiate to receive treatment from your preferred doctor, unless the provider you hope to see is not licensed to practice medicine, or presents some other serious conflict.
However, this is not usually an outcome you can achieve with a simple phone call to the provider. The process usually requires making numerous calls, securing wide-ranging documentation, and possibly filing legal motions. It may take some time and effort to get your preferred doctor approved by the insurance provider handling your claim. Also, the insurance provider may have you answer many questions about your injury and the providers you prefer before approving them — if they do at all.
Focusing on your own recovery
In many cases, it is a complicated process for the victim of a workplace accident to handle a complex task like seeking approval of a medical care provider while also recovering from the injury itself. If the injury in question is particularly severe and requires ongoing treatment, the victims must focus on their physical rehabilitation. This often leaves little time and energy to pursue fair and preferable terms in workers' compensation claims. When you must work through such claims, be sure that you consider all the legal tools and resources at your disposal to ensure the protection of your rights and priorities while you heal.