After suffering a workplace injury, you will want to see a doctor that you trust to treat you. But you might not have a choice in the matter depending on where you work. You might have to see a medical provider who has been approved by the insurance company that is handling your claim.
Here in Georgia, the Workers’ Compensation Act states that an injured worker must treat with a doctor on the approved panel of physicians that the insurance company has designated as in-network. Only when such a doctor is seen can the claimant receive all of their owed benefits. This same situation is true in many states, so there is a good chance you will not have the first say the first time you see a doctor.
Invalidating the Panel of Physicians
The panel of physicians who have been preapproved by the workers’ compensation insurance company is not set in stone, though. There are ways that the panel of physicians could be “invalidated” or challenged so that a physician can be chosen from elsewhere. For example, a review of the panel could show that none of the physicians have the right background to accurately assess your work injury and the impact it will have on your work and day-to-day life.
If there is no physician who is deemed fit for your case, then an outside physician could be chosen for your treatments, i.e., a physician of your choice. Showing that the panel should be invalidated and that you should be allowed to choose the physician who treats you is not easy, though. The insurance company will work diligently to defeat your argument because it could prove more costly to them to let you see another doctor. You should approach the situation with the assistance or representation of a trusted workers’ compensation attorney who knows what to say and do to get the physician panel invalidated.
Injured workers in Georgia can come to The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC for help with their claims, including any steps necessary to help you get treatments from a physician of your choice. Call (770) 629-9321 or contact our firm online to schedule a consultation.