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Can you choose your doctor for a workers’ comp claim?

If you were injured on the job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Under workers’ compensation, employees are eligible for medical expense coverage, lost wage reimbursement and rehabilitation cost coverage due to illness or injury caused by work-related incidents.

It is crucial that you report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. After you report the injury to your supervisor or employer, they have 10 days to file a report with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you do not report your injury immediately, your employer could dispute the claim.

In Mississippi, you are able to choose your physician—you can use your family doctor or any other doctor, to treat your work-related injury. This means that you have a right to reject the physician your employer suggests.

Should you choose your doctor?

It may be best for you to choose a doctor instead of going with your employer’s suggestion. Seeing a doctor that is not recommended by your employer helps ensure the doctor is impartial and will not be influenced by your employer or your employer’s insurance company.

If you have a family doctor or a doctor that you already have a relationship with, you may feel more comfortable being treated by them. Mississippi law allows you to have a choice—many states do not. It may be wise to take advantage of this benefit.

Exceptions to your choice

There are some situations when you may not be able to choose your physician.

If you have been getting treatment from a doctor for your work-related injury for six months or more, that doctor is automatically deemed your physician of choice. Also, if the doctor who has already been treating your injury performed surgery on you, you cannot simply change your doctor.

If there are signs of malpractice or if you file to change physicians, you may be able to switch your doctor. Speak with your employer, contact the Workers’ Compensation Commission or reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney If you have any questions regarding workers' compensation coverage.

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