You’d be surprised how many times our clients come to us complaining about their workers comp doctors. While they’re supposed to have your best interest at heart, it usually seems like they work for your employer. Our workers comp attorneys in Charlotte know how you feel.
While you do have the option of requesting a new doctor, we always say to be careful what you wish for.
You Don’t Get to Choose Your Workers Comp Doctor
When you first file your workers compensation claim, the insurance carrier will assign a doctor to your case. They have their own rationale for how they do this. Essentially, they have a list of state-approved workers comp doctors to pick from.
Once you’re assigned a doctor, that’s the only person who can treat you. If you decide to see another practitioner, you will have to pay for it out of your own pocket. The insurance carrier will not be required to cover that care.
Why Would You Want to Change Workers Compensation Doctors?
There are times when you’re just unhappy with your workers compensation doctor. Maybe they don’t have a good bedside manner. Or you may feel like the only thing they care about is rushing you back to work.
Make sure you communicate your concerns with your workers comp attorney in Charlotte. They will draft a written request to the insurance adjuster and ask them to issue a new doctor to your case.
You May Not Be Comfortable With Your Doctor
Sometimes, you just get a bad feeling from a doctor. You may feel uncomfortable with them for some reason. While it’s never wise to just say that you don’t “like” your workers comp doctor, it’s okay to be honest.
We suggest you keep a list of things that bother you. For example, if your doctor refuses to offer you the latest treatment, write it down. Do the same thing if they are pushing you through physical therapy too fast.
This information will be helpful if your Charlotte workers compensation lawyer needs to petition the North Carolina Industrial Commission to appoint a new doctor to your case.
Perhaps Your Doctor is Pressuring You to Return to Work Too Soon?
You may have the feeling that your workers comp doctor is forcing you back to work too soon. If they’re already pressuring you after just one or two appointments, you may have a point.
At some point, the doctor is going to determine that you’ve achieved something called maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which further treatment would be futile. Once you’ve met this point, you’ll be expected to return to work.
If your doctor doesn’t leave you enough time to fully heal, let your workers comp attorney in Charlotte know right away.
Is Your Workers Comp Doctor Refusing to Offer Certain Treatments?
There may be certain treatments designed to help relieve pain that your doctor doesn’t want you to try. For example, you may feel that gel injections would help you recover more quickly.
While your doctor is certainly qualified to make their own expert decisions, that doesn’t mean you can’t request a new doctor. Just remember that the new doctor may not be any different from the first doctor.
Let Your Charlotte Workers Compensation Lawyer Know if There Are Any Issues
As soon as you realize there are issues with your doctor, let your workers comp attorney in Charlotte know. Give them details about what is happening. Be upfront and honest with them.
If you truly feel that your doctor isn’t what’s best for your safety and health, that’s okay. You have a right to determine your own health. Of course, this is within the confines of North Carolina’s workers compensation law.
Your Workers Comp Attorney in Charlotte Can Ask the Insurance Company for a New Doctor
If you want a new doctor, your Charlotte workers compensation lawyer can submit a written request to the insurance company. They will have to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the doctor is not conducive to your recovery.
According to N.C. General Statute §97-25, the insurance adjuster has fourteen (14) days to respond. If they refuse your request, or ignore it, you have options. Your workers comp attorney in Charlotte can always file a motion to change physicians with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
If they approve your request, they will notify the insurance adjuster to assign a new doctor to your case.
What if the Insurance Adjuster Refuses Your Request to Change Doctors?
If they refuse your request to get a new doctor, you can file an appeal. The problem is that your doctor will eventually find out that you’ve requested a new doctor. You don’t want things to be uncomfortable or awkward between the two of you.
You may find that having a heart-to-heart conversation with your doctor can solve the issue. Let them know how you’re feeling. It may be easier to find a workaround with your current doctor than fight with the insurance company over assigning a new doctor to your case.
Reach Out to an Experienced Workers Comp Attorney in Charlotte Before You Do Anything
Even if you aren’t happy with your workers compensation doctor, you don’t want to jump the gun. Once you request a new doctor, you can’t go back and change your mind. What our Charlotte workers compensation lawyers have found is that many clients regret asking for a new doctor.
Since you don’t get to choose your own doctor, it can be hard to decide when to pull the trigger. Unless your doctor is treating you unfairly, you may want to stick with the doctor you have.
Our workers comp attorneys in Charlotte remind our clients that choosing to have a new doctor assigned can be tricky. It’s like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. You have no idea what the second doctor will be like.
We suggest you contact our office and schedule your free, initial consultation today. Talk to a seasoned Charlotte workers compensation lawyer before you make any final decisions.