Injured workers are inappropriately being directed to company doctors for treatment of their work injury. This is because the physicians at the company, or are even ones off site but to whom everyone is sent, have been incorrectly classified in some work places as the “worker’s compensation doctor”. However, please know that if you are injured on the job you are NOT required to treat with the so-called worker’s compensation doctor.
More specifically, the Worker’s Compensation Act requires that an injured worker be provided a list of six physicians from which to choose. This list is called a Panel Physicians List. The Panel Physicians List is to be provided to an injured worker at the time that they report their work injury. Likewise, the panel list should be posted somewhere within the work place to be reviewed and/or available for review by all employees. Thus, if injured, the only requirement is that the injured worker treat with one of the panel physicians. Therefore, even if company doctor is on the Panel Physicians List you have the right to choose your doctor. A company cannot require you to go to company doctor.
If you do voluntarily choose to treat with a company doctor it is now critical that you request a copy of your intake documentation. Upon evaluation, the staff or the company doctor themselves will have you complete an Intake Form where you will have the opportunity to provide details regarding the work injury. It has been recently discovered, however, that these Intake Forms are being destroyed shortly after the first visit. Consequently, the form cannot be reviewed by a Worker’s Compensation Judge at trial if ultimately your case is denied by the worker’s compensation carrier. It is therefore suggested that you ask for a copy of the form and for the doctor or their office to maintain the Intake Form in your file. This simple request will help protect your rights in the future and ultimately protect you and your family.
Darren K. Parr, Esquire
Darren K. Parr Law Firm
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