If you’ve been injured on the job, finding the right doctor to treat your injuries is crucial. But what happens if you’re not satisfied with your current physician? Can your Charlotte workers comp attorney help you change doctors?
Here, we’ll explore how a knowledgeable and experienced workers compensation lawyer can help make sure you get the medical care you need.
Overview of North Carolina Workers Comp Laws
In North Carolina, workers compensation is a no-fault system. However, you must meet certain conditions to be eligible for workers compensation benefits, including:
- The injury must have occurred while you were performing your job duties.
- The injury must be serious enough to prevent you from working.
- You must not have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you were hurt.
- You must notify your employer as soon as possible and complete an injury report within 30 days.
Workers’ compensation benefits can include medical expenses and income replacement. An experienced Charlotte workers comp attorney can help you navigate the claims process.
Reasons to Change Doctors
There are many reasons why an injured worker may want to change doctors. The most common reason is that the injured worker is not getting the treatment they need from their current doctor.
In some cases, a worker may feel like their current doctor is not listening to them or taking their concerns seriously. In other cases, an employee may feel like their current doctor is not providing them with enough information about their condition or treatment options.
Your Charlotte workers compensation attorney can help you determine if changing doctors is the right decision for you. They can also help you find a new doctor and make sure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
How a Charlotte Workers Comp Attorney Can Help with Changing Doctors?
If your current workers’ compensation doctor is not meeting your needs, here are some ways an attorney can help:
- Review your case and medical records to determine if a change is warranted.
- Work with the insurance company to get approval for a new doctor.
- Help you find a new workers’ compensation doctor in the Charlotte area.
- Assist with any paperwork or legalities involved in changing doctors.
- Be there to support and advocate for you throughout the process.
The Benefits of Working with an Experienced Workers Comp Attorney
If you’ve decided that you aren’t happy with your workers comp doctor, it’s a good idea to contact a seasoned Charlotte workers comp lawyer. There are several reasons why you should have a workers comp lawyer help decide if you should switch doctors.
Some of the benefits of working with an experienced Charlotte workers comp attorney include:
- Your attorney knows how the workers compensation system in North Carolina works and can help you navigate it effectively.
- If your employer has denied your claim or insists that you’re ready to return to work, your lawyer can help get a second opinion.
- Your attorney can also help you get benefits beyond just medical treatment, such as wage replacement or disability payments.
- An experienced worker’s comp attorney will have a network of doctors and other professionals who can provide you with the best possible care.
- Working with an experienced workers compensation attorney gives you peace of mind and someone in your corner who is fighting for your best interests.
What Are the Disadvantages of Switching Workers Compensation Doctors?
There are a few potential disadvantages of switching workers’ compensation doctors. First, if you have been seeing the same doctor for a while, they may have a better understanding of your injury and how it is affecting your ability to work.
Second, switching doctors can sometimes be disruptive to your treatment plan and may require you to start from scratch with a new doctor.
Finally, switching workers comp doctors can be time-consuming and complicated. You may need to go through the process of obtaining a referral from your current doctor, coordinating the transfer of medical records, and more.
What Happens if You Are Treated by Someone Other Than Your Assigned Workers Comp Doctor?
If you are treated by someone other than your assigned workers comp doctor, you may be responsible for the costs of your treatment. In some cases, your employer or workers compensation insurance carrier may not pay for treatment received from an out-of-network provider.
You should check with your employer or insurance carrier to see if they have any restrictions on receiving treatment from out-of-network providers.
Can You Change Workers Compensation Doctors More Than Once?
Yes, you can usually change your workers compensation doctor more than once. In North Carolina, you are allowed to select your own treating physician, within certain guidelines.
You may change your physician at any time, but you must notify your employer and the insurance company in writing of the change.
It is important to select a physician that is familiar with workers compensation cases and can provide the necessary treatment to help you recover from your injuries.
If you are not satisfied with the care you are receiving from your current physician, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion or make a change.
Your Charlotte Workers Comp Attorney Must Prove That Changing Doctors is Reasonably Necessary
It is not uncommon for an injured worker to be unhappy with the treating physician assigned to them by their employer or the workers compensation insurance company. The reasons for this can range from the doctor not having enough time to spend with the patient to a personality clash.
The good news is that, in North Carolina, an injured worker has the right to choose their own treating physician, as long as that doctor is willing to accept workers compensation patients.
However, if the employer or workers compensation insurance company has already selected a treating physician for the injured worker, the worker must first obtain permission from those parties before changing doctors.
Your Charlotte Workers Comp Lawyer Will Have to File a Motion with the Industrial Commission
You can’t just switch doctors and let the insurance carrier know. There is a certain process for changing workers compensation doctors.
Your Charlotte workers comp attorney will need to file a “Motion to Change Physicians” with the Industrial Commission. This motion must show that there is good cause for why the injured worker wants to change doctors and that it is reasonably necessary.
Examples of good causes could include:
- The current treating physician is not adequately addressing the injured worker’s needs.
- The current treating physician does not have enough time to spend with the injured worker.
- There is a personality clash between the injured worker and the current treating physician.
- The current treating physician is not available when the injured worker needs treatment.
Contact Our Office and Schedule Your Free, Initial Consultation
If you were hurt on the job and aren’t happy with the medical care you’re receiving, you have options. Your Charlotte workers comp attorney can file a motion on your behalf requesting a change in doctors.
Just remember – be careful about making this request. Unless there is a serious reason for wanting a new physician, you risk having a doctor unfamiliar with your case take over.
We suggest you call our office at (704) 706-2689 and schedule your free, initial consultation today.