If you’ve been injured on the job and need to see a doctor for your Missouri Workers Compensation case, your first question might be who picks the doctor that you should visit?
It might surprise you to learn that workers’ comp law in Missouri does not allow workers who are injured at their workplace to choose the doctor who treats their workers’ comp injury case. That right is reserved for the employer. And the employer usually has their insurance company determine who they believe is the right physician for the job.
If you’re wondering why the law is written that way, there are a couple of reasons. For starters, most laws are influenced by lobbyists. Employers and insurance companies have more paid lobbyists on their side.
And the employers and insurance companies would argue that if they’re the ones responsible for paying all the medical bills, then they should get to determine who treats the employee and not be forced to pay whatever is recommended by a doctor chosen by the injured employee.
But from the perspective of the injured employee, it would seem that this system isn’t slanted in their favor. Many employees would likely prefer to choose your own treating physician.
It would also be nice to have the option to switch doctors if the injured employee ends up with a doctor that they feel uncomfortable with or who might not be treating their injuries how the employee thinks they should.
These concerns can be valid. The doctor who treats your work-related injury can have a significant impact on your Missouri workers’ compensation case.
The doctor’s diagnosis, prognosis, and recommended treatment plan will all be taken into consideration when determining the amount of workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to receive.
Insurance companies have a financial incentive to choose physicians that will lean in their favor so they don’t have to pay out as much. That might mean diagnosing the injuries the worker sustained aren’t severe enough to warrant expensive treatments that they might actually need to properly heal.
There are a few options for an injured employee to choose their own doctor for their Missouri Workers Compensation case. If their employer has a panel of approved doctors to choose from, then the employee can at least select a doctor from that list.
And an injured worker can choose their own physician if they are willing to pay out of their own pocket, but that’s usually an uphill battle. Most people can’t afford to pay expensive medical bills on their own and most private health insurance won’t cover workers who were injured on the job, because those costs are typically covered by Workers Compensation.
The only other option under Missouri law is for injured employees to directly petition to the Missouri Department of Labor’s Workers’ Compensation division to choose a different physician. It is typically necessary for the injured employee to seek the testimony of another medical professional to demonstrate that their health is in danger with the recommended treatment.
But this process can be challenging and complicated. An injured worker would benefit from hiring an experienced Missouri Workers Compensation attorney.
Your Missouri work comp lawyer can assist you in developing your case, locating a physician who can render a second opinion, and submitting your petition to the Missouri Department of Labor.
Injured workers don’t have to be pushed around by their employer, the insurance company, or their doctor. You deserve fair, just, and accurate treatment. You need an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.
If you can’t choose or easily change your treating physician, then having someone well versed in workers’ comp law to make sure your employer and their insurance company are doing their part in helping you return to full health as soon as possible is essential.
The Krebs Law Firm offers free consultations. We don’t get paid unless you do. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain in giving us a call today.
Many injured workers are unaware that they can receive workers’ comp for their injuries. Others have to fight for what they are owed, such as compensation for lost wages from not being able to work or high medical bills. Call The Krebs Law Firm for a free consultation, and we will fight for your workers’ compensation rights alongside you.
Don’t try taking on the insurance companies alone. Call The Krebs Law Firm for a free consultation. You need an experienced workers compensation attorney at your side to make sure you get what you deserve for your workplace injury. Call The Krebs Law Firm locally at (417) 883-5886 or toll free at (800) 345-0535.
There is no upfront cost to hiring a Missouri Work Comp lawyer for your claim. If have a potential Missouri work comp case and want to make sure you maximize your Missouri Workers Compensation benefits for your workplace injury, then you should speak to a Missouri Workers Compensation attorney sooner rather than later.
Utilize our years of expertise to get the compensation you deserve and let us help you each step of the way.