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Can I Choose My Own Doctor Following a Workers' Comp Claim?

Updated: Mar 2

At The Edmonson Law Firm, a common question from our clients involved in Buford workers' compensation claims is, "Can I choose my doctor?" The answer is not straightforward—it's a mix of "No" and "Maybe." Let's delve deeper into this.

Drawings of doctors where one is circled in blue pencil.

Experiencing an on-the-job accident or illness that leads to a workers' compensation claim can be as stressful as it is painful. Naturally, you might prefer seeing a trusted, familiar doctor who can prescribe medication and outline a treatment plan for your recovery. This leads to the question of Georgia workers' compensation medical choice and whether you have a say in it.

Unfortunately, at the onset of any workers’ compensation claim, you MUST visit a doctor on your company’s approved list of providers. Employers must either work with a Board-certified Managed Care Organization (MCO) or create a panel of at least six physicians or professional associations. This panel usually includes an orthopedic surgeon, a minority physician, and four other qualified doctors, with no more than two industrial clinics on the list.

There are, however, a few exceptions:

Exception 1

According to Georgia law, if none of the doctors on the employer-provided list are available to see you at the time of your accident, you can select your doctor. 

Exception 2

Should your initial workers' comp claim be denied, you have the option to see your doctor. In this case, you and your insurance will initially cover that cost.

The Edmonson Law Firm can help appeal your claim so that, if the denial is overturned, your employer's insurance will reimburse your medical costs and cover future treatments.

Exception 3

Your health is the most important factor in any injury-causing event. In the event of a potentially catastrophic accident, go to the nearest emergency room right away!

Be sure to communicate to the staff at the hospital that this was a work-related injury so that it’s listed in your medical records that way.

Keep in mind that post-hospitalization, your employer may request you see a doctor from their approved panel (and you won’t want to miss any appointments!).

Exceptions aside, it’s best to follow the rules to the letter of the law to ensure the best outcome for you – both financially and physically. Life can quickly become a nightmare after a work injury in Georgia. You don't have to feel overwhelmed by all of the legal details; that's what we're here for!

We take pride in helping our neighbors in Buford and beyond, so whether you’re looking for a workers’ compensation attorney to aid with your claim or appeal, or if you’re simply overwhelmed and uncertain about how to proceed with your Georgia workers’ compensation claim, The Edmonson Law Firm welcomes your calls and emails. Call our office at (678) 271-9111 or fill out our hassle-free workers’ compensation form.

We invite you to join the conversation by leaving a comment below, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

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