Injured workers in North Carolina are often shocked and frustrated when they learn that their employer gets to pick the doctor they must visit when seeking treatment for an on-the-job injury. This seems unfair to many workers who would prefer to use their own primary care physician during initial examinations following an injury. But, as NC law currently stands, employers are able to direct injured workers to a company doctor. This policy also extends to orthopedic physicians and other specialists who provide follow-up treatment, including rehabilitation facilities to which you may be directed.
The relationship between a patient and a doctor is one of life’s most personal, and we realize the frustration this policy can have on injured workers. While we may not be able to change the law, we might be able to offer some guidance to help you work your way through it.
Legal Help for Injured Workers Seeking Medical Treatment
You were hurt on the job. You went to the company doctor. Now they are telling you they can’t get your medical treatment approved. Nothing seems to be happening, and your pain is getting worse. You need help, but where do you turn?
An experienced Charlotte medical treatment lawyer at the Ramsay Law Firm can answer your questions and take legal action to get you the medical treatment you need after a workplace injury. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call (704) 461-0750 from anywhere in North Carolina.
Can You See Your Own Doctor?
In North Carolina, the standard practice in workers’ compensation cases is for the employer to choose the doctor. That does not mean that you can’t see your own doctor, just that there will probably be a question about who pays if you do.
It is important to note that injured workers are entitled to a second opinion from a different doctor with regard to the level of impairment assigned by a doctor (your impairment “rating”). They are also entitled to a second opinion regarding potential treatment options, but if the parties cannot agree, changing doctors requires approval by the Industrial Commission.
If you are having a problem with increasing pain and your doctor is ignoring you or belittling you, call us. If your employer has sent you to an urgent care clinic and you feel like you aren’t getting the kind of attention you need, call us. If you need answers about your rights and options, call us. We can help.
Don’t Let Mistakes Keep You From Getting the Medical Treatment You Need
If you are having problems getting workers' compensation benefits started, we can help. We can quickly determine the nature and severity of the issue and can litigate on your behalf, if necessary. We will act quickly to determine the source of any delay in medical treatment. Delay is often due to:
- An adjuster going on vacation or being unavailable
- The employer telling the insurance company not to cover your injuries
- The doctor failing to file the appropriate reports
If it’s an accepted claim and your doctor is having difficulty getting authorization for tests, surgery or other medical treatment, the Industrial Commission has the power to order the procedure. This may take as little as a couple of weeks. Do not wait to contact a lawyer for help. The sooner you get legal representation, the sooner you can get what you need to feel better.
Contact Us Today
At the Ramsay Law Firm, we can work with your doctor to make the relationship between the procedure and your workplace injury clear and to document the necessity of the procedure. Call us today at (704) 461-0750 to discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. You can also contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment. Your consultation will be informative and free.