Can I Choose My Own Doctor for Workers’ Compensation?
February 23, 2018
Choosing a doctor to treat your workplace injury or illness is an important decision that may impact your physical recovery and workers’ compensation benefits.
In Arizona, most employees have the right to seek medical treatment from a health care provider of their choosing after suffering a work-related injury. However, your ability to choose your own doctor depends on your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Phillips Law Group’s Phoenix workers’ compensation attorneys are available to answer your questions about your rights during the workers’ compensation process, including your right to choose your own doctor to treat your workplace injury or illness. Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation to learn more.
The Right to Choose Your Doctor
If your employer is self-insured for workers’ compensation and contracts medical care with a physician registered with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA), you must be treated by a doctor chosen by your employer.
If your employer is like most companies in the state and has workers’ compensation insurance through a private company, you are entitled to choose your own doctor. However, your employer can require that you see a doctor of its choosing for one visit.
After your initial examination, you can select a health care provider of your choosing to be your treating physician. However, if you continue to see your employer’s chosen doctor for more than one appointment, that doctor will become your treating doctor by default.
Your chosen physician will play an important role in your workers’ compensation claim, as he or she will determine how long you need to recover from your injury, the type of treatment you will receive and if you have a permanent injury. Your workers’ compensation claim will be based on the conclusions of your doctor, and the compensation you receive will only cover what your doctor determines is medically necessary for treating your injury.
Because of this, it is important to choose a doctor with your best interests in mind. Doctors who are hired by the insurance company may have a different focus and may be more interested in lowering the insurance company’s payout than ensuring you receive the best course of medical treatment.
Once you have selected a doctor to treat your work-related injury or illness, you cannot change to another health care provide unless you have approval from your current treating doctor, your employer’s insurance company or the ICA.
If your current doctor does not approve your transfer, you must contact your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer and request approval to change your treating physician.
If the insurance company does not approve your transfer, you may apply to the ICA for approval. Your application must be made in writing and include:
- Your claim information
- Your signature
- The names and addresses of your current doctor and the doctor you want to transfer treatment to
- An explanation detailing why you want to transfer your medical care.
The ICA will then review your request to transfer medical care and either approve or deny your application. During the review process, the ICA may contact your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company or the doctors involved for their opinions on why the change should be made.
However, it is important that you do not begin treatment with a new doctor without an approved transfer. If you ignore the request process and seek medical treatment from an unapproved doctor, your medical bills may not be paid.
Contact a Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Help
If you are injured in a workplace accident, it is important to know your rights, including if can choose your treating physician.
At the Phillips Law Group, our Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyers are well-versed in the many laws that apply to workers’ compensation claims. We will guide you through the workers’ compensation process while answering any questions you may have.
Do not hesitate to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our attorneys for help with your workers’ compensation claim. We work on a contingency fee basis and do not charge our clients upfront legal fees. You are only required to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.
Fill out ourFree Case Evaluation form to get started.
Free Case Evaluation
Your message has been sent
Thank you for your message, we will get back to you soon.
I would like to send special thanks to Phillips Law Group for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Best Law Firm here in the Valley. During these troubling times with the epidemic, Phillips Law Group has masterfully created this family-like environment while still maintaining a professional and business-like approach for all their clients. Thru impeccable leadership that is unmatched by other law firms to the Multi-diverse employment opportunities that many employees advance within the firm; Phillips Law Group has not only distanced themselves from all other competition in the Personal Injury field but also has innovatively changed the narrative of being a great law institution. From providing Employee Appreciation Day to celebrating all major Holiday including great competitive contests; Phillips Law Group has the total participation of all employees to help contribute to the continued success of this firm. So in closing I would like to thank Senior Administration (Jeffery Phillips, Eva Chiaramonte, and Tim Tonkin) along with all of my colleagues and many friends for help making Phillips Law Group a unique and wonderful place to call my place of employment for 6+ years.
I just wanted to thank Phillips law Group and Vanessa Rodriguez for all the help that she did for my daughter’s case. She was involved in her first accident and she needed the help to deal with these adjusters. Thank you again.
Jeffrey Phillips is truly a brilliant attorney and businessman. I would not hesitate for a moment to contact him if I needed a personal injury attorney in Arizona, you would be fortunate to have him and his team. If you have a car accident, slip and fall in a store, or get punched in the face, call Phillips.
I was recently served court documents that I was being sued from an accident that happened years ago. For someone who has never been through something like this and not familiar with the court lingo or where to even begin, it was very frustrating and stressful. I reached out to a family member who knew Tracy Laskos and the great reputation of Phillips Law Group and within the hours of the initial call for help, I had a direct number to Lead Attorney Nassar. Nassar heard my case and almost instantly put me at ease by explaining the process and how easy it was to handle. Nassar spoke to me like he was a friend, not like I was a client. I am so grateful to Tracy, Nasar and of course my cousin Stephanie for helping out and giving me the direction that I needed to get through this situation. I plan on referring my friends, family and patients that are in need of a personal injury Attorney to Phillips Law Group. Thank you!!
If you are in need of legal support for a motor vehicle collision of any kind, I highly recommend going to Phillips Law Group Injury Lawyers. Sean Davis has exemplary knowledge and experience in this field, compassion for his clients, and excellent judgment and communication skills.
They knew exactly how to explain the case to me in a way that I would understand it. They gave me hope that my life wasn’t over.
I would like to thank Vanessa Rodriguez for helping me with my case because I was in total shock about the accident. She had listened to all my concerns and had answered every question I had . She was great !!!
Jasmine , did a great job . Highly recommend!!!!!
Sophia H. at Phillips Law Group has been an absolute joy to work with -quick, responsive, and professional in every interaction. Her breadth of knowledge, from administration to IT to finance, is nothing short of impressive.
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value As someone who is familiar with the inner workings of the auto insurance industry I can whole heartedly endorse Steven J. Jones and Phillips law group as someone I would want on my side should litigation take place. They handled my case professionally, honestly, and with satisfactory results which I would not have expected without enlisting their help.