“My Workers Comp Doctor Won’t Treat Me Anymore!” – Tips for Injured Workers Facing Denied Medical Care
If you are injured on the job, in most situations Georgia law requires you to see the doctor selected by your employer or its insurance company, depending on the type of injury you have suffered. However, injured workers in Georgia are often denied treatment with so-called authorized medical providers for one reason or another. Sometimes the doctor selected by the insurance company will refuses to examine or treat an injured employee. When that happens, the employer or the insurance company will often force the employee to go see a different doctor it has selected.
Informed yet unrepresented injured workers will most likely be stonewalled when they ask to see a doctor of their own selection or a doctor convenient to their home. But Georgia law provides that, in this scenario, the injured worker is entitled to undergo treatment for a work injury with a medical provider of his or her choosing if they have been denied medical care by the doctor or the employer/insurance company:
“Where the claimant has been refused authorized treatment (either by the authorized treating physician or by the employer or its insurer itself) and where the claimant can show that he reasonably required further care despite that refusal, then the claimant is entitled to undertake the care he reasonably requires for his injury with a physician of his own personal selection, at the employer or its insurer’s expense.” Boaz v. K-Mart Corp., 254 Ga. 707, 334 S.E.2d 167 (1985) (finding that the employee had been dismissed from treatment as cured by the company doctor even though still in need of treatment, and where, following the termination of the claimant’s employment, the employer had resisted all claims, including claims for further medical care, on the ground that any present problems were not related to the employment). See also American Mut. Liab. Ins. Co. v. Jordan, 113 Ga. App. 842, 149 S.E.2d 870 (1966) (holding the employer liable for the costs of services rendered by the claimant’s own personal choice of physicians where the claimant was found to still be in need of medical care but where the claimant had nonetheless been dismissed by his authorized physician and advised that he should pay for his own treatment in the future).
Arming yourself with knowledge of the law often is not enough to enforce the rights you have under Georgia Workers Compensation law. Unrepresented employees are often taken advantage of when it comes medical and lost wage benefits, and ultimately, settlement of their case. Hire an experienced and knowledgeable Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney to argue these points of law for you and generally guide you through the claim process.
Don’t accept denial of medical treatment in your workers compensation case. If you are or someone you know is involved in a dispute with an employer or insurance company about medical treatment or have questions about what to do in a workers compensation claim, contact The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller for a free consultation and case evaluation today!