You can receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the job. Your benefits include medical treatment coverage, including prescriptions, medical devices, and even medical-related travel.
However, you may have questions about your rights and responsibilities regarding medical treatment after a workplace accident as an injured worker. Find some of the most common questions answered here.
Why can’t you choose your own doctor for medical treatment?
Workers’ compensation law in Missouri provides the employer with the right to select health care providers for an injured worker. Usually, the employer will delegate this decision to their workers’ compensation insurance provider.
This doesn’t mean the insurance company directs medical care. Instead, the doctor is “authorized” by the employer or insurer and uses their medical judgment when providing treatment for an injured worker. The employer retains the right to change the doctor the insurance company chooses if they don’t agree with it. In these matters, the employer has the right to choose the treating doctor.
What if you aren’t happy with your medical treatment?
If you aren’t happy with your medical treatment or if you believe you should be referred to a specialist or need more testing, you should speak to the workers’ compensation insurance provider. If this doesn’t work, you can contact the workers’ compensation dispute management unit or request a conference with an administrative law judge. In these situations, you can present your concerns, and the judge will decide if you have the right to a different doctor or more testing.
Protecting your rights under workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help you recover from an at-work accident. While this is true, there are situations when you may have questions. Knowing your legal rights and options will help you protect them in these situations.