Can I choose my own doctor in works comp case? Stanley-Wallace Law

If you’ve been injured on the job, the last thing you want to worry about is how you’ll be treated for your injuries and who’s going to treat you. When you’re in pain, you want to be treated by someone you trust. That’s why it’s important for you to have the ability to choose your own doctor when navigating your workers compensation claim. 

What is workers comp?

It’s insurance that pays medical bills, lost wages, and rehab costs for employees who are injured on the job or become ill because of factors at work. All employers are required to carry workers comp coverage. 

Louisiana’s workers compensation laws allow you to choose your own doctor – and you are entitled to your own choice of physician in each specialty in which you treat. 

Here are some conditions of the policy allowing you to choose your own doctor: 

  • If you’re in the same field of specialty (if you’re seeing a podiatrist for a foot injury, for example), you have to get permission to switch doctors in the same specialty field. 
  • If your treatment will cost more than $750 and the treatment is not being provided under emergency conditions, then you have to get permission from your employer or your employer’s workers comp insurance carrier. 
  • Although you can continue to see your own doctor, if your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier wants you to see another doctor, you must comply. This means you’ll see two doctors. If you don’t comply, you could lose your workers comp benefits. 

Why is it important to choose your own doctor? 

Choosing your own doctor in a workers compensation case is important for more than one reason: one, you want to be seen by someone you trust. 

But you also have to keep in mind that doctors used by insurance carriers have a financial relationship with the insurance company. Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible, and doctors they hire know that. 

What if your doctor and your employer’s doctor disagree? 

If this happens, you might be entitled to an independent medical evaluation, or an “IME”. 

Should you hire a lawyer for your workers comp case? 

If your injury is severe and you don’t feel you’re being treated fairly through the workers compensation process, you might want to consider hiring an attorney to help navigate your case. Contact Stanley-Wallace Law Firm for more information.