Assisting Clients Across California Since 1993

Can I use my own physician after a work injury?

In California, work injuries and the concerns that surround them often leave a person wondering what the future holds. They will think about their financial situation and how they will make ends meet to provide for themselves and their family. In addition, there are worries about medical care.

Regarding the treatment available through workers’ compensation, many workers have personal physicians they trust and want to handle their case. There are laws that dictate when this will be allowed. Knowing them is essential, as is having help to address disputes that might come up.

When can a worker use their own physician while getting workers’ compensation?

State law says that a worker can use their own physician when the employer or the insurer does not have a contract with a network to provide care and 30 days have passed from the worker reporting the injury. If the worker wants to use a chiropractor, they cannot be a treating physician once the number of visits to a chiropractor are maximized.

Workers might have informed the employer that they have a personal physician before they were injured. If they have done so, they can then be treated by that physician immediately after the injury if they have health care coverage for non-occupational injuries or illnesses when the injury took place.

A personal physician must meet specific criteria for the worker to use them. They must be the employee’s primary health care provider; have given the worker treatment before the injury and has their medical history and information; and has agreed to be the predesignated health care provider. Workers who have a medical group where they get their health care can also be classify the center as a personal physician.

In workers’ compensation cases, qualified legal advice can help

There are many potential areas of disagreement in workers’ compensation cases. Often, people immediately think about problems getting approved for benefits to begin with. There is no doubt that this can be an issue. Still, there are other aspects of the case that can be challenging.

It is natural to trust medical professionals who know a person, are aware of their health status and have a history with them. The employer and the insurer might not want the worker to get treatment from their personal physician.

Understanding the law in these complex matters is fundamental to getting the necessary care from the medical provider the worker wants. To address this or other obstacles in workers’ compensation cases, it is important to have experienced representation.