Can I Choose My Own Doctor to Treat My Work Injury?

Can I Choose My Own Doctor to Treat My Work Injury?

worker with a hurt hand filling out a work injury form

Accidents and injuries can happen in any workplace, often when we least expect them. If you are involved in an incident that results in an injury, you should always make sure that you notify your employer right away. Even if you are involved in an accident and you don’t feel as though you have been injured, it’s still important to let your employer know. This is because the symptoms of some injuries don’t become obvious for days or even weeks.


If your accident has resulted in an injury, you’ll almost certainly need medical attention. Exactly what this will entail will depend on the type and extent of your injury. For example, some workers will need urgent attention in an emergency room, while others may need to see a chiropractor for ongoing treatment.


Many injured workers are surprised to discover that, if they want to claim worker’s compensation benefits, there are limitations as to who is able to treat their work-related injuries. You may not be able to use your usual, family doctor to treat you.


How Do I know Who Can Treat My Workplace Injury?

In most instances, workers who are injured in the line of their job must have these injuries treated by a professional from a pre-approved list that is provided by your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance company. Your employer should provide you with this list.


It’s important to select a medical professional that you are happy with, particularly since they will not only be critical to the success of your treatment, but also to your eligibility to receive benefits. If you decide you are unhappy with the first doctor you meet with, you may switch to an alternative provided they are also chosen from the same approved list.


Your chosen medical professional will diagnose your medical condition and then may do one or more of the following:


  • Recommend appropriate treatment

  • Refer you to a specialist

  • Remove you from work

  • Restrict your duties at work

  • Decide whether you have a permanent disability


If You Have Pre-Designated A Healthcare Provider

If you work in a high-risk environment or role, you may have been able to pre-designate your healthcare provider. During the process of pre-designation, it’s possible to select your own family doctor or other healthcare professional to be your care provider in the event that you suffer an injury at work. However, this must be done before an injury occurs, and is often completed upon hiring. It cannot be done at a later date.


You may also need to provide your employer with information about your chosen doctor, along with a written agreement from your physician stating that they will treat you for any occupational injuries that you may sustain. Your chosen doctor must then be approved by your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance company.


What To Do When You See Your Doctor


  • Don’t lie or exaggerate your symptoms

  • Tell the doctor about all of your symptoms, regardless of how minor or unrelated they may seem

  • Do not speculate about your injuries

  • Remember that your medical bills won’t be paid until you make an approved claim for worker’s compensation


If you have concerns about workplace injuries and would like more information about worker’s compensation, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our experienced and knowledgeable team at The Law Offices of Daniel Weltin PC in San Leandro, California by calling (510) 319-1904 today.

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