Choosing a Doctor After a Work Injury
Pennsylvania Attorney Richard A. Jaffe Can Help
After being injured while on the job, you may be required to undergo an "Independent Medical Exam" or IME, from which the independent doctor's opinion becomes critical in your Workers' Compensation case. At the Law Offices of Richard A. Jaffe, LLC, we understand that such examinations are often anything but "independent." That's because many IME doctors are paid by insurance providers to downplay the cause and extent of your injuries.
By working together with IME physicians who diminish a worker's injuries or illness claim, Workers' Compensation insurance providers pressure injury victims into accepting a "low ball" settlement that saves the company money. That's why it's so important to tell your examiner how your accident happened, document all symptoms and record job-related activities that caused your condition. If you fail to do so, your claim may be denied. You should consult with an experienced and aggressive attorney prior to undergoing the IME to determine if you should even attend, and if so get proper instruction on what to say and do during the exam.
Can I Choose my Own Physician?
According to the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, for an employer to control where an employee goes for medical treatment, the employer must:
- Create a list of at least six different health care providers that must include at least three physicians.
- Display this list where all workers can see it.
- Have an injured worker sign a required notice as soon as possible after being hurt on the job.
If the employer fails to follow the above steps, then the employer cannot tell you were to go to get medical treatment. In our experience, nearly 90 percent of injured workers are treated by a company doctor when they are not required to do so.
The Benefits of Using Your Own Doctor
You know you are in better hands when you are able to see your own doctor for any injury, work-related or not. You feel more comfortable with your doctor; you will likely speak more freely with your doctor, and you will get more comprehensive treatment focused on making you better, instead of forcing you back to work too early.
These benefits should not be given up lightly. If you feel you have been wrongfully required to see a company doctor, take action immediately. Reach out to our law firm today. Contact us today at 866-800-3332 for a free case evaluation. A delay may affect your right to collect the benefits you need - and deserve - to get life back on track after a workplace injury.