After a workplace injury, one of the first things you will likely do is see a doctor to treat your injuries. We have encountered many questions about what role a doctor plays in a workers’ comp case. A treating physician plays a crucial role in not only treating a patient’s condition but in helping to document your injuries to make sure you receive compensation that you deserve. In this article, we go over some useful information for injured workers to know about their workers’ comp doctors.
What Does Your Workers' Comp Doctor Do for You?
A workers’ comp doctor is any physician who treats your work-related injuries. Usually, your treating doctor is somebody who you continue to see after an initial doctor’s visit. However, a treating doctor could be someone you see in a hospital right after your accident, or someone you visit at a private practice.
A treating doctor will ask you questions about how your injuries occurred, as well as any relevant medical history. The doctor will examine you and evaluate your injuries, as well as prescribing any treatment or further medical care you need. Your treating doctor will make a report of his findings, which may then be viewed by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company, your hired attorney, or any further medical practitioners you see for treatment. Your doctor’s report will go over your injuries and symptoms, the cause of these injuries, any relevant medical history, restrictions, or abilities to work, and recommended treatment options.
Your treating doctor is important because he or she will often be the first step in recovery. Depending on their findings, you will be recommended a treatment plan to help you recover from your injuries as quickly as possible with the best results. Choosing an expert physician to be your treating doctor can ensure that you can recover and get back to work
Are You Allowed to Choose Your Workers' Comp Doctor?
In New York, you can choose your own treating doctor, as long as he or she is authorized by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. This comes with a small caveat. If your employer’s workers’ comp insurance policy contains a list of in-network doctors that you must see after a workplace injury, you must see one of those doctors until 30 days after the injury.
After 30 days, you can change doctors and see whomever you want to see. It may not be necessary to change doctors if you are happy with the in-network treating doctor. However, you have the right to go to a doctor of your own choosing if you are not happy with the treatment you are getting.
How Should You Choose a Treating Doctor?
Who you choose as a treating doctor is an extremely important decision in a workers’ comp case. A treating doctor will not only issue findings that will play a role in your workers’ comp case, but he or she is responsible for your treatment and recovery. You owe it to yourself to find a physician who values you as a patient and is committed to helping you recover. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a treating doctor:
- Check patient reviews and history. When looking for a physician, check patient reviews to get a general feel for their overall experience. A high level of patient satisfaction means that your experience as a patient will likely be positive. Check to see if patients would recommend this doctor to others.
- Ask for recommendations. If you know somebody who was injured at work, ask them if they have a doctor they would recommend. Ask them if they would recommend the doctor they saw, and what their overall impression was.
- Check for specific experience with workers’ comp patients. Although most primary care practitioners can treat workplace injuries, choosing a physician with experience treating workers’ comp patients can make the process smoother. A doctor who regularly treats New York workers’ comp patients is familiar with the kinds of injuries suffered from certain incidents, as well as the claims process. An experienced workers’ comp doctor knows what kinds of findings are important to include in his or her reports, and has experience dealing with insurance companies and attorneys. This can mean an easier overall experience for workers’ comp patients.
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If you or a loved one has been in a workplace accident, the treatment you receive is of utmost importance. Choosing a skilled New York Workers’ Comp Physician can take a huge weight off your shoulders.
Our New York Workers’ Comp Physicians have treated many workers’ comp patients, and our priority is our patients’ recovery. We know what symptoms and injuries to look for and what treatment you need to get back on your feet and back to work. If you have questions about treatment after a workplace accident, or to get treatment for a workers’ comp injury, call us today. Our expert staff is ready to help you get the treatment you need, call (888) 590-4030 today!