Getting hurt at work or on a job can be a huge inconvenience. It can also be stressful for injured employees because most do not know Florida laws surrounding workers compensation claims and cases and their rights…until they need to.
There is often more to a workers compensation claim than what most people realize. There are certain laws and processes to follow to ensure a claim is processed smoothly and to also avoid denial. One of the biggest concerns employees have is their legal right to see their own doctor.
Do I have the right to see my own doctor?
If you are injured at work enough to seek medical attention, your first instinct is likely to schedule an appointment with your own primary care physician, or a health care provider with whom you are comfortable. However, this is where individuals need to take caution, as most workers compensation insurance providers require you to see one of their physicians.
The short answer to this question is, yes, any injured employee does have the right to see his or her own doctor…eventually. However, an initial diagnosis (after an emergency room visit, if applicable) must often come from a qualified physician under contract with your employer’s insurance provider.
What is the reason for this?
Why must employees see a doctor aligned with an employer’s insurance provider? Unfortunately, many workers compensation cases have been fraudulent in the past, so this step is to ensure that an employee isn’t trying to fraudulently file a workers compensation claim. An unbiased doctor will be able to submit a clear and accurate medical report to the insurance company before processing a legal compensation claim.
What if I disagree with the diagnosis?
If you, as an injured employee, see a doctor provided by your employer’s insurance provider, then you have the right to appeal, and later visit your own doctor. However, these situations can get a bit complicated, so it’s best to speak with a skilled workers compensation lawyer first before making any decisions.
For more information on workers compensation claims in Florida, contact the West Palm Beach workers compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Sternberg & Associates. We offer free case evaluations so call us or visit us at one of our offices in West Palm Beach, Orlando, or Boca Raton.
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