Receiving the right treatment after a work-related injury or illness is the key to gaining your health back and seeking proper compensation. When it comes to getting the treatment, an injured worker should choose a treating doctor who is conversant with workers’ compensation claims. If you have suffered from a work-related injury, it will pay to know why you need to choose the right treating doctor and how you can change one if not satisfied with the results provided.
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Choosing A Treating Doctor In Your Alaska Workers Compensation Claim
A stipulated earlier, getting the right medical treatment should be of great importance. Most workers’ insurance claimants receive the wrong benefits as they fail to get the right treatment. The fact is that laws related to the choosing of a treating doctor can change at any time. Besides, a worker may not be aware of all the guidelines or legal procedures needed for a successful claim. That’s why one should consult Anchorage lawyer to ensure they are moving on the right track when selecting the right treating doctor and getting good benefits. Fortunately, Alaska workers are allowed to choose a licensed treating doctor. The doctor could be a surgeon, dentist, surgeon, etc. But, before you choose a treating doctor, you must have:
- Suffered a work-related injury or illness
- Reported the injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident or when you started observing signs of the illness suffered within the scope of your employment.
With the ability to choose your treating doctor, you can be assured that you will receive standard medical care. Nevertheless, not every doctor you choose can meet your needs. In such a case, you are allowed to change the doctor once, but you must inform your insurer before taking this step. If you change a treating doctor more than once without any written consent, the insurer may request you to pay for your medical bills. You should take the opportunity of selecting a treating doctor for your worker’s compensation case by considering the one with the right level of experience, one who is familiar with the injury or illness you have suffered. And finally, one who has the same personality as yours and is available for your medical appointments.
The bottom line is that you should choose a doctor who will be a part of your worker’s compensation claim.
Why You Need A Treating Doctor
A good treating doctor should give opinions on how workers’ compensation claim can be affected by the treatment one receives. In other words, your treating doctor play a great role in your workers compensation case when it comes to obtaining benefits. The worker’s compensation insurer also relies on the information provided by your treating doctor to give out reasonable benefits. However, in case of any dispute, the insurer may request an independent medical examination. Typically, the treating doctor will be useful in your worker’s compensation case by:
- Treating your condition: For a worker to obtain the right medical care. He/she can tell whether you need surgery, physical therapy, or even rehabilitation. If you need surgery, your treating doctor can choose the right specialist to conduct the surgery.
- Issuing work restrictions: Your treating doctor can issue work restrictions until you fully recover or can request a worker to be assigned light-duty work. If your employer request you to return to work before you fully recover, your treating doctor can say “NO” until he/she is sure you have reached maximum recovery.
- Determine whether you have suffered from temporary or permanent disability. The information will be used to determine how you require benefits.
- Prepare medical records for your case: Your medical records are the top most documents needed as evidence for your worker’s compensation claim.
Your treating doctor’s opinion will make a significant contribution to your workers’ compensation claim. Thus, it would help if you choose the right treating doctor for your worker’s compensation case to focus on your recovery. If the insurer believes the injury or illness suffered is not work-related, they may controvert your workers’ compensation benefits.
Talk To An Experienced Workers Compensation Attorney
Every insurance company is out there to make money. Therefore they will do all they can to minimize your chance of getting the benefits you deserve. One way they do this is by challenging your medical treatment. Again, it’s not uncommon for a treating doctor to liaise with workers’ insurance to assist them in their plans for reducing the benefits you should receive. Besides, you may even be ordered to get back to work before obtaining a full recovery. If you have a dispute over how your worker’s compensation claim is being handled or you have been denied the benefits you deserve, consider talking to an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer to protect your legal rights.