Workers’ compensation provides injured employees with access to critical benefits. These benefits can include lost wages, medical expenses, job retraining expenses and more.
However, the immediate aftermath of an injury can be hectic. Whether you suffered a fall on a construction site, injuries from a defective product or a repetitive stress injury at an office, you may need to seek immediate medical attention. After an injury on the job, are there restrictions regarding which doctor you can see?
Obtaining treatment from an authorized provider
In New York, injured workers must see health care providers authorized by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board. Ideally, proactively talk with your supervisor to learn the company’s preferred process and approved providers after an injury. Especially for those working in hazardous industries, this can be helpful to avoid confusion after an injury.
After an injury, follow the steps below:
- Seek immediate medical attention. When your injuries are serious, seek prompt medical treatment regardless of the hospital.
- Ask about authorized providers. If your injuries do not require emergency assistance, inquire about your company's authorized providers for you to visit.
- Disclose your injury occurred at work. Disclose the nature of your injury at the hospital for accurate billing purposes and thorough medical records.
- Report your injury. New York law requires workers to report their injury to their employer within 30 days of the accident.
When you go to just any doctor after suffering a non-emergency injury, you could end up receiving the bill. Follow your employer’s directions to avoid receiving steep medical bills during your recovery period.
Getting a second opinion
Your first visit to a physician is likely to assess the extent of your injuries. However, subsequent visits may determine your road to recovery, your eligibility to receive workers’ comp benefits and more. When your injuries are serious and you disagree with your diagnosis, recommendations or more, it can feel as though you have limited options.
If you wish to get a second opinion, first consult with your employer’s list of authorized providers. Depending on your employer’s policy, you may be able to get a second opinion from your own doctor or another doctor that you trust.
After suffering an injury, you may worry about risking your access to critical benefits. Discuss your situation with an attorney to learn your options and protect your compensation.