If you are considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, you are probably wondering about medical care and whether you are allowed to choose your own doctor. Under PA workers’ comp law, injured workers are allowed some choice of doctor. If your claim is accepted and your employer has a proper list of six or more providers and you have signed a document, acknowledging receipt of this panel at hire and some point after the injury, you are required to treat with these providers for the first 90 days. If the list is incomplete or does not meet the requirements of a “Physicians List” under the law or your claim is denied, then you may treat with a doctor of your choice. The PA workers’ comp lawyers at Pearson Koutcher Law can help facilitate access to expert medical providers who can help treat you for your injuries.
In order to constitute a complete “Physicians List,” there must be at least six medical providers, three of whom must be physicians. Each provider should include a name, address, telephone number and specialty. If you require a doctor with a specialty that is not included on the list, you may choose your own specialist. If a doctor recommends that you undergo surgery, you may seek a second opinion. This visit must be covered by your employer or its workers’ comp insurance. Another requirement: the providers on the list must be geographically accessible. If you have questions about the validity of your employer’s list, contact the PA workers’ comp lawyers at Pearson Koutcher Law for a free consultation.
If your claim is denied, you are not required to treat with a company doctor. Once the 90-day period has passed, you can choose to see a provider not on the list for treatment.
After your claim has been accepted, your employer or its insurance company can require you to attend an Independent Medical Examination with a doctor of its choosing up to twice a year. This is usually requested to prove that your disability has changed – in other words, you have recovered from your work injury and can return to your regular position, or if not, you are capable of performing light-duty work. There are restrictions to those exams and certain obligations. For example, if you request it, the insurance must transport you to and from the IME at its cost. If you have questions about keeping your benefits when the workers’ compensation insurance company is trying to cut you off after an IME, contact the PA workers’ comp lawyers at Pearson Koutcher Law for a free consultation.
If you were injured at work and are concerned about receiving all of the benefits to which you are entitled, a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer at Pearson Koutcher Law can answer any of your questions. Please call to set up a free consultation today.