Workplace injuries are inevitable. Although employers may have strategies in place that maximize the safety of their employees, accidents can still occur.
Although you may understand the basics related to receiving compensation after a workplace injury, knowing the requirements related to the doctor you choose may not be so clear.
Do You Need to See the Company Doctor in Georgia?
This is one of the most common questions that arise after a workplace injury. Many employers give the impression that they have the final word on which medical care provider an injured employee can use.
Employers typically dictate which doctors an employee must use during the initial 90-day period following a workplace injury. However, the employer must meet specific requirements in order to exercise this right.
Employers must provide employees with a list of health care providers that are authorized by the employee. They must also make sure that injured workers sign a notice outlining the rights and duties of all employees.
Although Georgia workers are required to use the company doctor during this 90-day period, they do have the right to change to another physician who is part of the employer’s authorized list without notifying the employer.
Certain exceptions may be made in cases where the employer hasn’t provided a panel of health care practitioners to choose from. The same is true in the case of a medical emergency in which an authorized medical care provider may not be immediately available.
Georgia employees must have a clear understanding of these requirements. Using a doctor who isn’t authorized by the employer can allow the employer to deny compensation for medical bills, forcing the employee to pay out of pocket.
Benefits of Seeing the Company Doctor
There are some benefits related to being treated by the company doctor. It’s an immediate source of care that doesn’t require additional work for the employee after an injury.
The company doctor can also allow your employer to have an established relationship with your treatment provider. This can make the process of treatment and your return to the workplace more efficient.
It creates a direct line of communication between your employer and the medical care provider, which simplifies the process of providing information related to your treatments and recovery.
Using the company doctor ensures that you comply with the worker’s compensation requirements to obtain financial assistance for your medical treatments.
The company doctor will also have an understanding of the type of work you do. This provides the insight needed for appropriate treatments that help you recover quickly so that you can resume your daily life.
Drawbacks of Seeing the Company Doctor
There are some potential drawbacks to working with the company doctor after you’ve experienced a workplace injury.
Many find that they don’t fully trust a medical care provider who is directly connected to the employer.
Because the employer is responsible for paying the cost of treatments, this potential conflict of interest may cause employees to question the information and treatments provided by the company doctor.
A doctor whose livelihood depends on the work provided by your employer may place the interests of the company above your own.
If you’re unsure about your rights related to treatments provided by a company doctor, working with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney will ensure that all of your rights are fully protected.
An attorney will provide you with the resources you need to make the best decisions and obtain the compensation that you deserve.
Although receiving treatment from the company doctor can make the process easier, it may do so at the risk of not getting the proper treatment for your workplace injuries.