Adjusters Will Try To Steer You in the Direction of a Doctor Who Works With Their Insurance Company.
An injured worker is entitled to medical care and treatment for his or her work injury. The Workers Compensation Act provides a list of goods and services the insurance company must provide for certain work injuries, everything from surgical care to false teeth.
Most importantly, in D.C., you have the right to choose your own physician. Many adjusters and employers will try and steer you to a doctor who works with the insurance company frequently, or worse, to some type of worker's clinic that treats only people hurt on the job (and these clinics have a duty to the insurance company, not you).
Failure to Choose Your Own Doctor Can Hurt Your Case And Your Medical Recovery
While you have the right to choose your own physician, if you later want to change doctors, you must then get the approval of the workers comp insurance company or the Office of Workers' Compensation. If the insurance company has referred someone to a physician, that situation can be considered a constructive choice of the physician, depending on the length and complexity of the medical treatment provided. This just means they are going to make it difficult for you to switch doctors.
Time and time again we hear from people hurt on the job that the insurance adjuster told them they had to treat with a "panel" physician or an "approved workers' compensation physician" or say they have to be in some type of network for their D.C. work injury. It's just not true.
Sometimes the insurance company will send a list of three doctors to choose from, like they're allowed to do in Virginia. Three doctors on the list are invariably the top three they hire to perform litigation exams. Unfortunately, many injured workers do not realize they have a right to choose their doctor-- and the insurance company will not tell them.
Make the Right Choice From the Beginning: Contact Our Experienced Workers Comp Lawyers Today
Remember, in D.C. and Maryland, you have the right to choose your doctor. Get a doctor who is experienced and does not work for insurance companies. One that will listen to you and get the treatment and tests your medical condition requires. Don't give up that right! For more information on protecting your rights when you're hurt on the job, get a copy of our book, Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers' Compensation.
And if you're ready to move forward now, contact us at 202-393-3320 to speak to a real person who wants to hear your story and get you started on your path to success.