With workers compensation in Georgia, sometimes you may need a second opinion after being treated for a serious injury or illness. A second opinion is especially appropriate if surgery or other high-risk treatments are recommended. Does Georgia allow workers to get a second opinion on work-related injuries? Does the insurance plan cover the cost of this appointment? What if the doctor chooses to prescribe a different treatment plan than the original physician who referred you? Can you follow the plan recommended by the second doctor and still receive coverage? Whenever you need legal advice about your workers compensation in Georgia, our Atlanta workers compensation lawyers are here to help.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, in Georgia there were over 78,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses caused by employers in 2019, accounting for 2.5 cases per 100 full-time equivalents.
Does Workers Compensation in Georgia Allow Injured Workers to Change Doctors?
If a worker in Georgia is injured, they can change doctors after a specified waiting period, even if the worker does not seek a second opinion. Some workers are uncertain about the treatment provided by the doctor chosen by their employers. The injured worker’s rights and responsibilities are outlined in state worker protection law, which requires that they see a physician of their employer’s choosing for the first 28 days. After the initial waiting period, workers can then choose their doctor.
How Can I Change Doctors After an Accident at Work?
To ensure workers’ compensation benefits and rights, you must learn about Georgia workers’ compensation benefits and responsibilities. For instance, if you wish to change doctors after a work accident, you must comply with the following rules:
- Changes in doctors should be reported to your employer and the insurance company
- Notify your employer regarding your new physician, along with any other necessary details required
- You are free to choose any doctor, but your employer may rightfully put up a dispute
It is your responsibility to follow adequate procedures for changing doctors to ensure that you are covered for all reasonable and necessary expenses. This means you should not have to pay for any treatment or a co-pay if you have been injured or ill at work. You are strongly advised to contact your healthcare provider or insurance company as soon as possible if you continue to be charged. We strongly advise you to get in touch with a competent lawyer in the case where your insurance administrator or employer refuses to compensate you for your medical treatment.
Is it My Responsibility to Get a Second Opinion After an Injury Under Workers Compensation in Georgia?
To conclude, you always have the option of getting a second opinion. It is essential to ensure that the treatment you receive is appropriate for you and that it can help you reach your highest point of improvement. It is imperative to keep in mind certain risks if you seek a second opinion, including:
- If your workers’ compensation carrier does not agree to give you a second opinion, you may not be able to get one
- Having a second opinion is not always a guarantee that the second doctor will agree with your treatment plan
- If you get a second opinion, you may not get the recommendation you want
- Depending on the outcome of the second opinion or the recommended treatment, your workers’ compensation insurance company may keep your claim under litigation
Is it Possible that My Treating Physician Will Request a Second Opinion?
Physicians may sometimes seek a second opinion as they struggle with a diagnosis. When this happens, it usually means the physician is having difficulty navigating your treatment. The doctor may be referring you to a more qualified specialist to verify their diagnosis, or they may just be checking their accuracy.
Usually, your workers compensation in Georgia will cover the bill if your doctor suggests you get a second opinion. Occasionally, this may not be the case. Workers’ insurance companies may tell you to see a specialist for a second opinion. However, this is not a good idea as the insurance company may refer you to a doctor who will organize the independent exam for you.
Having legal representation can ensure your rights are protected while seeking the care you need. Additionally, a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney is likely to have a network of doctors who can provide a second opinion.
We offer free consultations for workers compensation in Georgia and if you hire us, we will not charge you anything upfront. Our fees are based only if we help you obtain the benefits you deserve.