Can I Use My Doctor for My Florida Workers' Compensation Claim?
Florida workers’ compensation insurance is required to be held by most business owners in the state so that if their employees are injured on the job, they can get the medical and financial support necessary to help them through to recovery. It is also helpful for employers because it provides somewhat of a shield from lawsuits. After a Florida workplace injury, workers’ compensation benefits will pay for your medical bills. Every state handles workers’ compensation differently. In some states, an injured worker can use a doctor of their own choosing for diagnosis and treatment, but in Florida, this is not so. Most cases will be handled by the doctor that either your employer or their insurance carrier has chosen.
Florida Employers and Insurance Carriers Pick the Doctor for Injured Workers
After you are injured in a workplace accident in Florida you have 30 days to report your incident to your employer. It doesn’t matter where the fault lies because fault does not matter in Florida workers’ compensation claims. It is best to report your injury sooner than later so the process can get started earlier and there can be no pushback as to the severity of your injuries because you waited.
After you have reported your accident situation and injury, either your employer or the insurance company that provides them with workers’ compensation coverage will tell you what primary care physician you can see. If the approved doctor believes that it is necessary for you to visit a specialist, then that medical professional is also going to be chosen for you by either your employer or their insurance company.
Florida workers’ compensation law dictates that you must use the approved medical professionals to obtain compensation. Your employer is under no obligation or requirement to compensate you if you obtain treatment from a provider that was not approved. The only situations where there are exceptions include those instances where your injuries require immediate and rapid medical care. For example, if a large heavy object falls on your leg and crushes it, you don’t have the luxury of time to wait for the approved doctor. Time is a factor and the severity of your injury is as well so you can get the emergency treatment you need at the closest hospital without prior authorization. If you need to be rushed to an emergency room for treatment, after you get the care you need and are released you must still report your situation to your employer.
If you are not satisfied with the approved doctor that you were initially sent to you are allowed to put in a request for a change. You are only allowed to do this one time and you must make your request in writing. This one-time disagreement about the provider you use doesn’t mean you get to pick the replacement, it is still up to your employer or their insurance provider.
Call a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
To ensure you are treated fairly and get all of the benefits you need from your workers’ compensation claim, call Stephen M. Andrews. Stephen M. Andrews is a Tallahassee workers’ compensation attorney who will help you with your claim. Call him today at (850) 906-9599 and schedule a free consultation.