Am I Allowed to Choose Which Doctor I go to for Injuries Suffered in a Workers' Compensation Accident?

Workplace Accident Lawyers Serving the Jacksonville Area and Surrounding Counties

Employers in Florida are required to provide compensation to employees injured on the job in order to cover medical costs and a portion of their lost wages. Under Florida law, a doctor is chosen by either the employer or the insurance company responsible for payment of these claims. However, in some situations, a worker may participate in choosing a doctor for injuries suffered in a workers’ compensation accident. The Jacksonville workers’ compensation lawyers at The Lawrence Law Group help injured employees determine their legal options and assert their rights following a workplace accident. If you need assistance dealing with an employer or insurance company after being injured at work, our attorneys are available to answer questions about your case.

Choosing a Doctor for Injuries Suffered in a Workers’ Compensation Accident

Medical care sought after a job-related injury must be pre-authorized by an employer’s insurance carrier, except in emergency situations. Certain medical treatments, such as chiropractic care, are subject to limitations or exclusions in coverage. New or experimental treatment options can also be denied by insurers as unnecessary or unreasonable. Because of these issues, it is advisable to stay within the bounds of the selected medical providers following an injury. An insurance company can also unilaterally decide to transfer your treatment to another doctor if it determines that proper recovery is not taking place.

A few limited exceptions exist under Florida law regarding an employer or insurance company’s right to select or pre-approve an employee’s doctor, which include:

  • Workers in need of emergency medical attention for life-threatening injuries.
  • An employer’s refusal to refer an employee to a doctor.
  • An insurance company’s denial of a worker’s claim.

Additionally, under Florida Statute 440.13, an injured worker can change doctors one time during the duration of a workers’ compensation claim. Once the change occurs, the worker is not permitted to seek out further alternatives later in the process. Given the finality of this change, workers must carefully consider whether they want to switch the medical provider.

The request for a change must be submitted to the insurance company in writing. If the insurance provider fails to assign a new doctor within five days of receiving the request, a worker has the option of choosing the new doctor. If they are given this option, a worker should take into consideration the doctor’s experience as well as their familiarity with workers’ compensation laws and the associated claims. The doctor’s willingness to testify about your injuries and their acceptance of Florida’s fee schedule are important. Since most insurer-appointed doctors tend to provide conservative, cost-cutting treatment, a worker who chooses their doctor could have an advantage in receiving a higher quality of medical care. However, once a change is instituted, the initial doctor is not permitted to provide further treatment. This means that a worker who decides that they prefer the first doctor over the second doctor after all cannot switch back.

Injured workers often need additional medical treatment from a specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon. These doctors must also be pre-approved by an insurer, in addition to any other types of medical providers like physical therapists. Referrals to these specialists must come from a worker’s primary doctor, and the treatment should be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.

Contact a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Jacksonville

Workers who sustain job-related injuries need prompt and reliable treatment, which can lead to important decisions that have a long-lasting impact on their health. If you have questions or concerns regarding choosing a doctor for injuries suffered in a workers’ compensation accident, the dedicated injury lawyers at The Lawrence Law Group are available to offer guidance. Our Jacksonville attorneys represent people throughout Duval, Clay, Nassau, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Baker, Brevard, Union, Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton, Jefferson, Volusia, and Alachua Counties. You can contact us online or call our office at (904) 632-0077 today to schedule a no-cost appointment about your claim.

Client Reviews
I have known Mr. Lawrence for several years and in my opinion he is the most professional and trustworthy lawyer I have ever known. I have had dealings with other lawyers but they were not as good as Mr. Lawrence. I would highly recommend him. Carla
I was referred to Greg by a coworker after I received a bad injury from an auto accident and was so pleased with Greg, and staff. They literally took care of everything for me while I was healing and kept me updated every step of the way. Calls and emails were always accepted and returned promptly and they were extremely patient and helpful with any questions and concerns that I had. Should I ever need legal assistance again I will definitely be calling him and referring him to family and friends. Amie M.
I had a difficult disability case, and was referred to Greg by a judge. As an experienced lawyer myself, I was apprehensive about using someone I didn't know. As it turned out, however, I could not have been more pleased. Greg mastered the case in no time, and was nothing short of brilliant in getting me a substantial settlement. He's a lawyer's lawyer, and I recommend him highly and without reservation. Steve
I would like to take a moment to say thanks to Greg, and his staff for doing an excellent job with my deceased mothers nursing home case. After hiring two other law firms my brothers and I decided to hire Greg. This was the best decision that we made regarding this case. Greg took the time to get to know who our deceased mother was, and the important facts involving our claim. As a result Greg was successful in resolving our claim to our satisfaction. Greg is the best attorney that I have ever met! I would highly recommend hiring Greg for any nursing home, or any other claims. Falsario Arnold
Of all the things that pleased me about Greg was that he was always available to me. If I called or emailed, I spoke to him and wasn't pushed off to one of his paralegals or assistants (although they were very helpful as well). I felt like I had a lawyer - not a factory. Scott