Can You Choose Your Own Workers' Compensation Physician?
We make sure you get the medical treatment you need
One of the first questions from workers hurt on the job is whether they can choose their own doctor. The short answer is no. But the experienced workers' compensation attorneys at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC know how to make sure you are properly evaluated and get the medical treatment you need.
Under in New Jersey workers' compensation laws, the employer is permitted to choose the doctor who will treat you for your work-related injury. However, if there is a medical emergency, you are free to seek treatment at any hospital without prior authorization. (However, you need to notify your employer as soon as possible.)
But in general, the insurance company gets to choose the doctor who will be treating you. And they will choose a doctor who has their best interests in mind, not yours. That's why you need a knowledgeable and skilled workers' compensation attorney on your side.
A common situation seen with workers' compensation claims is an insurance company physician prematurely cutting off medical treatment, despite significant lingering pain. This could be because their doctor determined that a worker has sufficiently recovered, or because the insurance company has determined you no longer need treatment after consulting with experts who have never even treated you. The problem is you have not recovered and are now left in a great deal of pain and cut off from your wage loss benefits.
Fighting for your rights
We have seen this happen too often with injured workers, and refuse to accept the "live with the pain" mantra. Our attorneys can arrange to have you evaluated by an independent doctor and will appeal the decision to the Division of Workers' Compensation. In many cases, our office will front the cost for the evaluation and subsequent Motion for Medical and Temporary Disability Benefits.
Delays are also common. A doctor has recommended further diagnostic testing or has prescribed medication to treat your injury. But the insurance company takes days, weeks or months to approve it. That is unacceptable. We contact the insurance company immediately and demand quick action, and we will go to court if necessary.
Insurance companies also typically seek access to your medical records, even those that have nothing to do with your workplace injury. What they're looking for is a reason to deny your claim for benefits. Our firm has successfully fought against these intrusive methods and has won court decisions limiting insurance company access to our clients' medical records.
If you are injured on the job, you need a workers' compensation lawyer who knows how to get you the medical treatment you need and the wage benefits you deserve. Contact us online or call 856-751-7676 to schedule your free consultation at one of four offices. And if you can't come to us, we'll come to you.