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Can I go to an unauthorized doctor after a work accident?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Workplace injuries and illnesses happen at an almost alarming rate in Georgia and across the country. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.8 million private-sector employees suffered nonfatal injuries and illnesses at work in 2019 alone.

If you sustain an injury or acquire an illness at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Still, to boost your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve, you must carefully follow the requirements of the law.

Which doctor must you see?

In the Georgia, you can see a  physician from your employer’s list of approved doctors. The list should include at least six authorized providers. If your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer does not have a list of authorized doctors, you may be able to pick your own physician.

Of course, if you require emergency medical care immediately after a workplace injury or illness, you can  see an unauthorized doctor. This exception only applies during emergencies, however.

Can you change doctors?

When you see a doctor for a work-related injury, it is critical to listen to his or her diagnosis and follow the prescribed treatment plan. If you disagree with the doctor or have a bad doctor-patient relationship, you can change doctors one time. Still, you must choose your replacement physician from your employer’s list of authorized doctors.

If you see an unauthorized physician, you may have difficulty obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for your work-related injury or illness. Ultimately, while it may be uncomfortable or awkward to see an unfamiliar physician, in most situations you must pick from your employer’s list of approved physicians.  If you treat with an unauthorized physician, the workers’ compensation insurer will not be responsible for payment of that treatment, unless the treatment was provided in an emergency situation.

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