Can I Choose My Own Doctor?
The rules of workers compensation vary state to state regarding whether you are able to choose your own doctor or whether your employer chooses your doctor. Under the Florida Worker’s Compensation statute, your employer’s insurance carrier is charged with authorizing medical treatment for your injuries. This insurance carrier will determine whether your injury was related to the work place accident. They will also determine what doctor you will treat with for your injury. While there are some exceptions to this rule, generally you are not able to choose your own medical provider.
One exception is when receiving initial treatment. When you are hurt on the job, you should immediately report your injury to your supervisor. If there is an onsite doctor, it is recommended you treat with that provider. Or, if your supervisor suggests you go to a certain provider immediately following the injury, then you should follow their instructions. However, when seeking your initial medical treatment, it is ok to treat with your own provider. This is simply due to the urgency of the situation. If you are able to, it is best to wait to receive proper authorization from your employer’s insurance carrier before seeking treatment. While technically you are able to treat with your own provider initially, it is best to follow the advice of your supervisor or simply wait for authorization from the carrier.
One thing you are able to do after being assigned an authorized medical provider is request to change your physician. However, this will only be allowed one time. If you do not already have a Worker’s Compensation attorney, you should obtain one immediately. Your employer and insurance carrier will do anything to deny your claim. It is important you have someone on your side that is able to fight to obtain the benefits you deserve. At LaBovick, LaBovick & Diaz, we provide a free initial consultation for all of our clients. We will take the time to determine the best way to obtain the maximum benefits for you.