The series that examines the basics of workers’ compensation continues with this blog post.
In Nebraska, injured workers have a right to treat their work injuries with their own family doctor if that doctor has previously treated the worker, or an immediate family member, before the work injury. In other words, if a worker doesn’t have a family doctor, but his or her spouse, children, parents, or stepchildren have a doctor, the worker can see their doctor for his or her work injury as well. This is very important, because oftentimes, you can trust your family doctor to treat your work injury (and know your medical history) more than a doctor that your employer picks for you.
Not only may an injured worker elect to treat with his or her own family doctor for a work injury, but the injured worker may treat with any doctor if the employer does not provide the injured worker with a choice of physician form, or if the employer has denied payment of the work injury. In these situations, the chosen doctor is not limited only to the injured worker’s family doctor; it can be any or as many physicians as he or she chooses.
Many employers do not adequately inform their employees of their right to choose their own physician because they may want to steer an injured worker to a doctor who works for the employer. More specifically, a doctor recommended by an employer may be more likely to release a worker back to work too soon or not provide adequate treatment, in order to reduce costs for the employer.
In sum, you nearly always want to choose your own doctor for your work injury. You’ll likely get better, more personalized treatment from someone you trust, as opposed to the “company doctor.”
Read the previous blog posts in the workers’ compensation basics series by clicking on these links:
- What is Workers’ Compensation?
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Are You an Employee?
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: What is a Workers’ Compensation Accident?
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Provide Notice of Injury
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Understanding Medical Care and Treatment