After sustaining an injury at work, many people are under the impression or get told by their employers that they have to see a certain doctor. Insurance companies often tell people the same thing, too. Both these institutions may lead injured workers to believe that they have “control” over their medical treatment.
However, that is simply not true.
List of Doctors
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law requires that your employer provide you with a list of at least six workers’ compensation doctors for you to pick from, known as a “panel of physicians.” The one you choose will become your authorized treating physician.
This is all the control that your employer gets when it comes to your medical treatment. Basically, they get to limit your choices, but you get to pick your own doctor off of this list. Plus, each doctor on this list must be listed in the State Board of Workers’ Compensation Physician Database -- this means that all your options will have to meet certain requirements set forth by the state.
Some employers do not post a list of physicians. Others do but don’t follow all the detailed guidelines of workers’ compensation claims. This usually means that an injured worker can pick any doctor they want to serve as their authorizing treating physician.
Seeking Other Medical Providers
Your doctor may refer you to seek additional types of treatment such as physical therapy or getting an MRI. Many times, employees and insurance companies will try to control referrals to other medical providers. They may even go out of their way to tell a doctor that they must refer you to a specialist within the insurance company’s “network.”
However, in almost all cases, Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law gives your authorized treating physician absolute control over your medical treatment, including where you get it. You physician can pick the doctors, physical therapists, pharmacist, or other medical providers for you to see.
Protecting Your Rights to Compensation
If you or a loved one sustained a work injury in Georgia, you need skilled and knowledgeable legal representation. We understand that this process can seem challenging, especially when you’re going through it alone. We will keep you informed of your rights during the entirety of your workers’ compensation case and fight hard to ensure you receive the benefits you need to physically, emotionally, and financially recover.
Contact The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford at (770) 629-9321 to schedule your free case evaluation.