Injured workers in Georgia are entitled to free medical care under our state’s workers’ compensation program. Employers are required to provide employees with a choice of at least six doctors who have agreed to provide care under workers’ compensation.

The doctors on this list, known as the panel of physicians, are chosen by your employer or the workers’ compensation carrier. Many injured workers wonder if they can choose their own doctor. The answer is usually no. However, there are exceptions.

Here are examples of times when you can choose your own doctor to treat a workplace injury:

  • For emergency medical treatment, you should go to the nearest medical facility that can treat your condition.
  • If your employer does not have a proper list of doctors posted, you can choose your own doctor.
  • If you are unsatisfied with the care you are receiving, you can change to another doctor on the list-but you can usually only do this one time. If you want to change a second time, you may need an attorney’s help.
  • You can request a second opinion, called an independent medical examination, from a doctor of your choosing.

If you are frustrated with the medical treatment you are receiving, let a workers’ compensation lawyer advise you about the steps you should take next. Do not get angry and say or do things you might later regret. Your lawyer can step in and hold insurers and employers to their obligation.