The employer is required to show you a list of six or more doctors called a ‘panel of physicians’ after you get hurt at work. This panel is supposed to be posted somewhere prominent in the workplace, for example, in the break room, or sometimes in the bathrooms. It just has to be somewhere that’s accessible to you.
In fact, you might want to go and take a picture of it at this point, so that you’ll know which doctors are available to you if you do get hurt. If you’ve already been hurt, then the employer should have shown you this list of doctors and given you the choice from that list. You’re not allowed to choose whatever doctor you want.
For example, you can’t just choose your primary care physician to provide you with care. The insurance company is not required to pay for that. They’re required to pay for care with one of the authorized doctors, which you get to pick from the list. If your employer or the insurance company tries to tell you which doctor you have to choose, that is untrue and it’s illegal.
You get the choice from those doctors. And I highly encourage you to select somebody, either with your attorney or at the very least select somebody from that panel who’s an orthopedist. There has to be an orthopedist listed on the panel. So, if you have a back injury or a knee injury or a neck injury, the orthopedist is the one to go to.
There’ll be two clinics on the panel, most likely. And you do not want to choose the clinics. Clinics are the doctors that mostly work for the employer and insurance company. In my opinion, those doctors are not looking out for your best interest because their real client is the insurance company and the employer.
So you’ll want to choose an expert, an orthopedist to handle your bone or joint injuries, because they’re the ones who are actually going to be able to provide you with more sophisticated care and be least likely to be biased in favor of the employer and insurer.
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