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Selecting the right physician to treat a work injury

If you get hurt on the job, you need to be aware of your full range of options for receiving workers' compensation benefits. Along with filing a workers' compensation claim to cover your financial needs, it is important to select the right physician to treat your injury.

Depending on your specific circumstances and those of your employer, you may have multiple options for getting medical treatment.

Predesignation

The California Division of Workers' Compensation approves Medical Provider Networks (MPNs), which most employers in the state have. These networks provide treatment to injured workers, and generally an injured employee is required to use a medical provider who is in the employer's network.

As we discussed in a recent post, if you already have a regular doctor, you can predesignate him or her to treat you after you get hurt on the job. However, you have to make the designation in writing and provide it to your employer prior to an injury.

This option is available even if your employer has an MPN.

Choosing a doctor

The importance of selecting the right physician cannot be overstated. Having a good doctor not only promotes your health; the doctor's diagnosis and treatment of your injury will in part determine the types of workers' compensation benefits you receive. Some things to consider in selecting the right physician include:

  • Experience
  • Specialization
  • Willingness to accept the workers' compensation pay schedule
  • Ability to testify during proceedings for a claim

To ensure the proper treatment of a specific medical condition, the primary doctor may refer the patient to a specialist. If this is your situation, it is crucial that the doctor who treats you has the appropriate training and specialization.

The workers' compensation attorneys of Dixon & Daley, LLP, have extensive experience in helping injured workers get the medical treatment they need. For more on that, please see our overview of how we can help.

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