Obvious challenges exist following a work-related accident that has left you injured. A sense of uncertainty sets in when it comes to your future career. It is essential to know that part of workers’ compensation benefits involves coverage for medical treatments without you having to pay anything out-of-pocket.
Insurance companies must adhere to Georgia law. However, for injured workers, that mandate equates to limited choices when it comes to doctors and treatments.
Multiple options exist when insurance companies are “helping” injured workers get treatment. Those include:
- Case denial is unfortunately common when insurers claim that no injuries occurred on the job, making the worker ineligible for any form of medical treatment or benefits
- Insurers pay for medical treatment but not lost wages. The reasons are twofold: First, they have not paid because that benefit is not due, or they are not required, resulting in refusals even to start the process
- Acknowledge that the injury did occur and that the worker is eligible for medical treatment and lost wages benefits.
Medical-only claims initially limit injured workers to treatment from a doctor on the physician’s panel that comes from a list that should be posted on the job site. Certain requirements include a six-physician list with at least one orthopedic specialist, no more than two industrial clinics, and one minority doctor.
For employers who do not have a panel or one that is in non-compliance with the requirements without a waiver in advance, the injured employee can select their own doctor that could include:
- Family physician
- Physical Therapist
Additional choices exist if the injured worker does not find care to be satisfactory. Options exist for a one-time selection of a preferred medical professional of their choosing.
Work injuries create uncertainty for employees who may already struggle to make ends meet. A workers’ compensation attorney can help to even the odds for hard-working professionals.