Can I see my own doctor? Who gets to chose my doctor? Can my employer force me to see their doctor?
You will hear from their lawyers that they have the right to direct medical care. To a degree they do, but it is not unlimited – Kevin Jones
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Modified Transcript of “Can my employer force me to see their doctor?” for the Hearing Impaired
Hello. My name is Kevin Jones. I am the workers comp lawyer with Dodge Jones Injury Law Firm. We are an eastern North Carolina personal injury and workers comp firm.
We have offices in Jacksonville, New Bern, Greenville, Morehead City, and Beaufort, North Carolina.
I am here to talk to you about some frequently asked questions that I get in my practice handling cases for injured workers. One of
Can I choose my own doctor?
Or along with that a similar question and a related question, “What if I don’t like what the workers comp doctor is saying? Can I get a second opinion with a doctor that I choose?”
These questions would have been answered differently before 2011. The law changed then and it is more difficult now to be able to get to see a doctor that you want to see.
It is not impossible, but it is more difficult. There are steps that have to be taken that did not used to have to be taken so that you can, if you do go see a doctor that you have chosen, that you can make sure that that doctor’s testimony can even be considered in a trial or in a hearing down the road.
If you do not jump through all the hoops that the newer law requires, that doctor’s testimony can actually be excluded from evidence and not considered at all, no matter the qualifications of the doctor that you have chosen to see.
Whenever someone who has a workers comp claim that is ongoing, an accepted claim, a claim where the workers comp carrier or adjuster is sending you to a particular doctor and you want to get a second opinion or you want to treat with someone else, it i s not as simple as, “I am just going to go see this doctor and find out what he is going to say, and then let the other side know.”
There are things that we have to do in order to do what we can to make sure that that doctor’s opinions are considered if there is a dispute down the road. In other words, if the doctor that you see says one thing and the workers comp doctor that they have sent you to says another thing, we want to make sure that we have done what we can to make sure that your doctor’s opinions are considered when it goes to court.
You will hear from adjusters. You will hear from their nurse case managers if you have got one going with you to doctors appointments.
You will hear from their lawyers that they have the right to direct medical care. To a degree they do, but it is not unlimited.
There are ways to get you seen by a doctor whose opinion you trust, but it is probably not something that most people are going to be able to do on their own.
If you need help with this situation, if you are seeing a doctor that you do not trust, if you are seeing a doctor that is not listening to you that you have been sent to by workers comp, if you feel like for whatever reason you need to get to another doctor to get the care that you need to be able to heal and get back to work, then give us a call.
We are happy to talk to you about what your options are there, and what we can do to try to get that opinion and that treatment where we can.
Workers’ Compensation Law in North Carolina is complex, confusing, and sometime frustrating. While we may not always personally agree with the status of any particular law, we will help explain the laws to you and help you navigate the system.
It’s our goal to explain Work Comp law to you, to make sure your rights are protected, and to hold the company and your employer responsible, as is set forth in the law, accountable for Workplace Injuries.
Please call me now for a free, confidential consultation. There is no obligation. I’m here to answer questions.
Kevin Jones, Attorney at Law