If you have suffered injuries at work, it’s essential to seek medical treatment right after the accident. However, the question stands – should I see my own doctor after being hurt at work, or do I have to see my employer’s doctor? It can be challenging to navigate the workers’ compensation process, but with an experienced lawyer by your side, you can rest assured knowing that the appropriate steps are taken after the accident to recover the most compensation for your harm and losses.
Am I Required to See My Employer’s Doctor After Being Injured at Work?
The rules for seeking medical treatment after being injured at work vary from state to state, but in all states, an employee has the right to seek immediate emergency medical treatment for a serious injury. Beyond immediate treatment, whether you should use your employer’s doctor or your personal physician for future treatment varies in every state in the U.S. The following scenarios are the most likely paths that your employer will take regarding your medical treatment:
- Your employer chooses a doctor for you – some companies have a doctor designated for workers compensation cases
- You can choose a physician from an employer or state-approved list
- You can choose your own doctor – limited to states such as New York, Texas, and Illinois
- Though not recommended, in some states where you are not encouraged to choose your own doctor if you are adamant about choosing your own doctor, you can – but at your own expense, which can be costly
It might not seem like something worth worrying about, but having the right treating doctor after a workers' compensation accident can offer insight into the workers’ comp process, and ensure that your case has a detailed medical report to submit with your claim.
Workers Compensation Laws
Under Federal and State law, most businesses are required to have workers compensation insurance if they have a certain number of employees – this often varies between 3 to 5 employees. If a business has workers compensation insurance and an employee is injured on the job, it differs in each state whether the employee’s injuries or accident is eligible to recover worker's compensation.
In most states, if an employee is injured at their workplace, they are eligible to recover workers compensation benefits with a valid claim. However, in some states, they might be ineligible depending on if the risks of their job were known (musician, real estate agent, farm employee) and their status of employment (part-time, independent contractor). Beyond this, if an employee is eligible to recover worker's compensation for their injuries, the type of damages they can recover, the timeframe for filing a claim, acceptable evidence, and other factors vary significantly from state to state. For example, in the State of Missouri, injured employees have up to 30 days from the time of the accident to report an injury, but in the State of California, employees have as little as one day after the accident occurs to report an injury.
Consult a Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
Worker's compensation can help offset the burden of present and future medical bills that occurred because of a workplace accident. In most states, if a workplace accident victim has suffered severe, permanent injuries, they are eligible to recover benefits for a lifetime, but it can be challenging to prove eligibility to an insurer.
Christopher Dixon and the Workers Compensation Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm are ready 24/7 to assess your case’s eligibility for worker's compensation benefits and will do everything in their power to develop the strongest claim possible. No one should have to suffer injuries because of a workplace accident, but when it does happen, our attorneys are always here to help.
If you have been injured at work, and need a Workers Compensation Lawyer to represent your case, don’t hesitate to call (314) 208-2808, or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation, and explore the options available to your case with assistance from our experienced attorneys.