When can I choose a doctor to treat a workplace injury?

| Jul 9, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

You probably have a primary treating doctor that you have come to know and trust to handle your injuries or medical treatments. So if you get hurt while on the job and you take workers’ compensation to pay your medical costs, you may wonder if you have leeway to pick your primary doctor to treat you.

North Carolina law is clear that the insurance carrier of your employer can send you to the carrier’s preferred doctor if you file for workers’ comp. But under some circumstances, you may be able to visit a doctor of your own choosing.

When to choose another doctor

To change your doctor to someone you prefer, you must make your case to the state Industrial Commission that you need this change. According to state law, you must present evidence that shows that a change of doctors would have a positive impact on your treatment and recovery in three possible ways.

First, going to your preferred doctor would result in a cure for your condition. Secondly, a change of doctors would provide you relief, perhaps giving you medicines or therapy that would lessen your pain or other symptoms. Finally, visiting your preferred health care provider would decrease how long you would last in disability.

You may get a second opinion

To help your case, you might seek out another doctor to give you a second opinion on your condition. North Carolina law allows you to give your employer a written request to permit you to get a physician licensed in the state to examine you. You may ask your employer to pay for it. In the event your employer turns down your request, you can appeal to the Industrial Commission to order the examination.

Seeking out treatment for an injury can be a sensitive issue. Fortunately, the flexibility in North Carolina’s workers’ compensation law may help you choose a different path for your medical treatment.