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Can I Choose My Own Doctor to Treat My Work Injury?

Treating a work injury often requires extensive medical treatment. If you have been hurt on the job, you may hope that your normal healthcare provider can treat your injuries. However, many work injury victims are surprised to learn that they are not permitted to go to their own doctor for injury treatment. In many cases, the doctor that treats your work injuries must be chosen from a pre-approved list provided by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. There is a way to choose your own doctor, but doing so requires proactivity.

What You Should Know About Receiving Medical Treatment for a Work Injury

If you are being treated for a work injury and would like to receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover those expenses, you must adhere to the rules set forth by your employer’s insurance company. They will be paying for your medical expenses, so they can choose your doctor. This system is similar to how health insurance companies only cover treatment from in-network providers.

Your employer will provide you with a list of medical providers who are permitted to treat you, and whose services will be covered by your workers’ compensation benefits. You may be able to switch doctors if you do not like your first choice, as long as your second choice is chosen from the same approved list.

Once you choose a doctor, they will provide you with treatment throughout the progression of your injury. Additionally, they will provide your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company with updates on your healing. The input of your doctor will guide your eventual return to work.

How to Pre-Designate a Healthcare Provider

There is a way to receive medical treatment under workers' compensation for a work injury from a provider of your choosing. Through a process known as “pre-designation,” you can appoint a doctor to be your care provider in the event that you are injured at work. This must be done before any injuries occur, and is often completed upon hiring.

Your employer may have their own processes for pre-designating a physician. Generally, you will need to provide your employer with information about the doctor along with a written agreement from your physician that states they will treat you for any occupational injuries. The provider you choose must be approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.

If you have been injured on the job, contact Smolich and Smolich today. Our legal team can help you recover the benefits you deserve.

For a free consultation with our lawyers, send us a message or call (916) 571-0400.