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Choosing Your Own Doctor After a Work Injury

October 17, 2018

Cherry Hill Workers' Compensation lawyers advise clients on their right to choose a doctor.Every day, New Jersey employees are injured on the job. Luckily, with workers’ compensation, for which they need not prove negligence, they may be able to obtain benefits such as medical expenses, temporary disability, and permanent full or partial disability. In exchange for not having to prove their employer’s negligence however, they are subject to certain restrictions. One such restriction is that they must see the medical provider chosen by their employer.

NJ Workers’ Compensation Law Gives Employers the Right to Choose Doctors

Under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, employers and their insurers have the right to select who will be treating workers injured in a workplace accident. It is extremely important that you report any work-related injuries to your employer right away, so as not to lose your rights to workers’ compensation.

Often, there may be a potential conflict of interest, as your company and their insurance company (and likely the physician that they select) wish to minimize costs rather than focus first and foremost on your physical wellbeing. Because of this, you may be provided with inadequate medical care.

Treatment May Not Be Delayed Due to Time Processing

Though some may be concerned that the time involved in processing their claim will compound the injury, employers, insurers, and health care providers are obligated to provide necessary treatment. Per the law, they may not delay or condition your treatment upon the processing of your claims.

Payments for Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey

New Jersey does not have a medical fee schedule for any treatments that are covered under workers’ compensation. Doctors and other medical providers can charge their general rates for services. It is important to remind any medical providers that your injury happened on the job.

Even if the insurance company should disagree with your provider regarding whether the treatment you received (and its bill) are reasonable, in the state of New Jersey you should never receive a bill so long as your medical care has been authorized. If your workers’ compensation claim should be denied, you have the right to file an appeal.

The Emergency Injury Exception to the Rule

The one exception to having to see your employer’s physician is if your injury is emergent. Should you experience an emergency situation that requires immediate treatment, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation medical benefits – even though your employer did not pre-approve your doctor. It is still extremely important that you contact your employer and inform them of the situation as soon as possible.

It is possible that your employer and/or your employer’s insurance company may not feel as though your emergency treatment was necessary or warranted. If this is the case, they may attempt to deny your workers’ compensation claim.

Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Advise Clients on Their Rights

If you have questions about your workers’ compensation claim, contact an experienced and knowledgeable Cherry Hill workers’ compensation lawyer at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP. Serving injured workers in Cherry Hill, the City of Camden and much of South Jersey, we handle all types of work injury cases. For a free consultation call 856-761-3773 or contact us online.

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