When you are injured on the job, your employer (usually via its insurance company) has to foot the bill for your medical care. Below, we discuss your rights to medical treatment under Georgia workers’ compensation.
Selecting a Physician
In order for the workers’ compensation insurer to pay for your medical care, your provider usually has to be an Authorized Treating Physician. Most employers will have a list of Authorized Treating Physicians either posted conspicuously in the workplace or available as a handout. The list is referred to as a Panel of Physicians, and in most cases, you must choose your physician from that list.
Physician selection can be a critical issue in your case. We suggest you read our full page on authorized medical treatment and the panel of physicians. Of course, if you have specific questions, you can always contact a workers’ compensation attorney at our firm: 678-562-5595.
Some workers find that their initial physician isn’t a good fit for them. Fortunately, Georgia workers’ compensation laws allow you to change your Authorized Treating Physician once during the course of your case. You can make the change without the consent of your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company.
There are some exceptions to this rule, however. If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, we encourage you to visit our change of physicians page for more information.
Obtaining a Second Opinion
If you were receiving workers’ compensation benefits on a weekly basis and believe the employer or insurer prematurely cut them off, you are allowed to get a second opinion examination. If you opt to get a second opinion, you must notify your employer or its insurance company in writing in advance.
Independent Medical Exams (IMEs)
By the same token, your employer may request that another physician provide a second opinion on your condition. The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act permits employers and their workers’ compensation carriers to obtain an Independent Medical Examination (IME) as long as you are receiving or claiming that you are entitled to receive disability benefits. A non-treating physician performs an IME at the request of an employer’s workers’ compensation carrier to assess a worker’s medical condition.
If you are attending an IME or requesting a second opinion yourself, read more about the IME or second opinion here. An IME might indicate that the workers’ compensation carrier is trying to find a reason to suspend your disability benefits. Contact a lawyer right away if you have not already done so.
For a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta, contact Bader Law Firm, LLC, today at 678-562-5595.