07 Nov Arizona Workers’ Compensation Claims: Can I Select My Own Doctor?
Most employees in Arizona have the right to seek treatment from a doctor of their choosing after a workplace injury. However, the doctor that you choose to treat a workplace injury is a decision that can impact your physical recovery and ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Choosing your own doctor
If your employer contracts medical care with a physician registered with the Industrial Commission of Arizona and is self-insured, then you are required to be treated by a doctor of your employer’s choosing. However, with the exception of your initial doctor’s visit, if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance through a private company, you may choose your own doctor.
Should you choose your own doctor?
The physician you choose to treat your injury will play an important part in your workers’ compensation claim, as this individual will make a number of determinations, including:
- The amount of time you will need to recover from your injury,
- The type of treatment you will require to recover from your injury, and
- Whether your injury is temporary or permanent.
Due to these considerations, it is imperative that you choose a doctor who has your best interests in mind. Doctors who are hired by insurance companies are sometimes more concerned with saving money than ensuring that you receive the proper diagnosis and treatment.
Can you change doctors?
After you have chosen a physician to diagnose and treat your work-related injury, you are not permitted to change doctors without approval from your current physician, your employer’s insurance company, or the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
What if you are denied?
In the event that your current physician doesn’t approve your transfer, you will need to request approval from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. And if your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer doesn’t approve the transfer, then you may apply to the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Upon application to the Industrial Commission of Arizona, it will review your request to change doctors and either approve or deny your application. During this process, the Industrial Commission of Arizona may contact your current doctor or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company for feedback regarding the requested change. However, it is imperative that you don’t begin treatment with a new physician without approval, as this can have a negative impact on your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
Arizona Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Workplace injuries can be devastating, both physically and financially. And things can become even more difficult if you aren’t able to choose your own physician. Therefore, if you or a loved one have suffered an injury on the job, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced Arizona workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible, as you may be entitled to compensation. For a free consultation, please contact Arizona Injury Law Group, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, at 602-346-9009.