If you’ve recently experienced a work injury in Missouri, you may be wondering if you’re legally allowed to get your own doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
There are about 2.8 million workplace injuries in the U.S. every year, ranging from minor to severe and even fatal. So if you’ve recently experienced a work injury in Missouri, you may be wondering if you’re legally allowed to get your own doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
In this article, we’ll explore the laws related to getting your own doctor after a work-related injury in Missouri.
Your Employer Has The Right To Choose Your Doctor In Missouri
As any St. Louis work injury lawyer will tell you, Missouri Workers’ Compensation law provides your employer with the right to choose the health care provider you’ll see after you experience a work injury.
In other words, you do not have the right to choose your doctor. This is different in some other states, but in Missouri, your employer is responsible for doing so.
However, your employer will often delegate that right to the insurance company. The insurance company will choose a medical care provider and authorize the treatment, and this is the doctor you’ll see.
In some cases, your employer/insurer may even be able to change the doctor you’re seeing if they disagree with their assessment or their method of treatment.
It’s also important to note that, while the employer often delegates the right to choose a doctor to the insurance company, the employer maintains the right to choose your doctor. If your employer and their insurer disagree on which doctor you should see, your employer is generally the one who makes the final decision.
What Do I Do If My Doctor Isn’t Helping Me After A Work Injury?
If you have recently experienced a work injury and you feel that the doctor your employer provided you is endangering your life or health by refusing to provide you with appropriate treatment, you do have options.
Missouri law allows injured employers to directly petition the Missouri Department of Labor Workers’ Compensation division to change their doctor. In most cases, this will require the employee to obtain the testimony of another doctor – who can claim that the employee’s life or health are being threatened by the withholding of a particular treatment.
This process can be difficult and complex, so you will benefit greatly from the assistance of an experienced workers compensation attorney. Your attorney can help you build your case, find a doctor who can provide you with a second opinion, and present your petition to the Missouri Department of Labor.
Get Help If You Think You Need A New Doctor After a Work Injury
If you have been injured at work, get in touch with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected right from the start of your claim.
If difficulties arise with your medical treatment, a experienced lawyer will know how to help you petition the Division of Workers’ Compensation, find a new doctor, and get the treatment you need to resume your normal life, get back to work, and get relief from your pain and suffering.
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Call today to speak with an experienced Missouri workers compensation attorney!