What if I’m Not Satisfied With My Workers’ Compensation Doctor?

not satisfied

In Iowa, your employer can choose which workers compensation doctor you see and get care from. That said, your employer's choice must be reasonable in terms of the doctor and the care they provide. If you're dissatisfied with your workers' compensation doctor, you request to be seen by a different doctor. If your employer denies this request, you or your attorney can file a petition with the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner. 

After a work accident, it can be difficult to recover from your injury. Everyone responds to injuries in different ways, and because of this, you may have some trouble getting the care you believe you need. In some cases, you may also feel unsatisfied with your workers' compensation doctor. Do you have options in this case? If you don’t get the right treatment and answers, you could be offered fewer benefits and even have to wait longer for them.

If you’re unhappy with your medical treatment, you may have options. Below are a few things you need to keep in mind when seeking a medical exam after your work-related accident. 

Who Chooses Your Workers' Compensation Doctor? 

When you’re seriously injured, your first instinct may be to turn to your usual doctor. He or she knows your health record, and may have better insight into your health. But people on workers' compensation can't always use their own doctor. 

In Iowa, injured workers typically can't choose their workers' compensation doctor. Employers can pick what medical provider you see and must provide reasonable care for your injuries. That said, you may ask your doctor that you receive care from a different doctor. 

In some cases, you may be unhappy with the treatment you’ve gotten. For example, the doctor may have given you a lower impairment rating than you should receive. If that happens, this can negatively impact your workers' compensation settlement for your neck and back injury. You may have to go back to work because the workers' comp doctor said you were fine, even though you weren’t. That could lead to more pain and even a second injury. 

To avoid this, you and your workers' comp lawyer may request a second opinion from your doctor of choice. Your employer may be required to cover these expenses, and it gives you a better chance to get a fair impairment rating and treatment. This can help increase your chance of receiving compensation for a work-related injury.

If you’re not sure how to request a second opinion, your workers' compensation lawyer can help. They can help you communicate with your employer and their insurance company to get the treatment you deserve. 

I Need to Change My Doctor Under Workers' Comp. What Do I Do? 

If you’ve been injured in a work accident, you may have already spoken to your workers' comp doctor. Unfortunately, you may also feel unsatisfied with them. So, what happens if you’re not satisfied with your workers' comp doctor? 

You have the right to ask that you see a different doctor. If your employer refuses your request, you can file a Petition for Alternate Medical Care with the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner. A workers' compensation attorney may help you prepare and file the request for alternate care. As your advocate, he or she may communicate with your employer, your employer's insurance company, and other parties on your behalf.

Get the Right Doctor with a Workers Comp Lawyer’s Help 

At Pothitakis Law Firm, PC, we understand how difficult it can be to get a fair impairment rating and seek the workers' comp benefits you’re due. If you’re struggling to get the answers and assistance you need from your workers' comp doctor, talk to a work compensation lawyer in Iowa who can help you get fair treatment. He or she can also help you understand what not to say to your workers' comp doctor and what to avoid while on workers' comp. He or she can also help you prove that you have lost earning capacity because of the work injury.

Ready to get a second opinion? Get started today by calling 866-753-4692 or by completing the online contact form below. 

When you're injured, you'll need your workers compensation benefits to help pay for your medical care and recover from your injuries. Unfortunately, you may be struggling to receive your benefits because your employer disputes your workers' compensation claim. Because of this, you may not be getting the benefits you need, when you need them. That can hurt your future and your chances of recovering from your injuries.

So, why do employers dispute workers compensation claims? The reasons can vary depending on the claim. Reach out for help from an Iowa workers' compensation attorney if you've been injured and your employer is disputing your claim.

Common Reasons Why an Employer May Dispute a Workers' Compensation Claim

Iowa's employers must carry workers' compensation insurance policy that pays out benefits to injured workers who qualify for compensation. If a worker files a valid, timely claim for benefits, the employer and its insurance company should pay out benefits to the worker.

In some cases, an employer may dispute a workers' compensation claim. Unfortunately, not all of these employers have a legitimate or fair reason to dispute the claim. Common reasons that an employer might dispute a claim include costs of insurance, location of the injury, and lack of visibility of the injury.

Costs of Insurance

One of the major motivations for a denial is often money. Your employer may be more focused on their profits, not your recovery. If there are many workers comp claims being filed, the insurance company may raise the costs of their premiums, meaning your employer pays more for the insurance they must carry.

Because they're focused on keeping those numbers to a minimum, they may try to deny your workers comp claim. They want to keep their costs low, so they'll try to put the expenses on you.

Disputes on Location of Accident

In other dispute cases, your employer may not believe that your accident happened at work. This dispute often arises when workers don't seek medical care right away. Your employer may use this delay to their advantage, claiming that you could have been injured somewhere else, not at work.

That's why you'll need to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident, even if you feel fine. For example, you may have slipped and fell, but you just feel a little bruised. Later, your back hurts so much that you can't work. If you waited to see a doctor, your employer may claim you could have been injured somewhere else.

Visibility of Injuries

Some injuries are less obvious and clear-cut than others. For example, it may be clear that you were injured if your arm was caught in a machine, but what about repetitive-motion injuries or work-related illnesses?

Less-visible illnesses can be harder to prove, which may lead to a dispute. Your employer might question whether you were truly injured. Often, that means you'll need to seek out more exams and proof from your doctor. These tests can strengthen your claim and show your employer the severity of your injuries.

Talk to a Workers Comp Lawyer if You Receive a Letter of Dispute From Your Employer for Workers’ Compensation Claim

When you've suffered a serious work-related injury, getting workers' comp benefits is vital for your recovery. Unfortunately, you may now be dealing with a dispute, which makes securing those benefits difficult and frustrating. This is especially so if your employer lied to the workers' compensation commission or his or her insurance provider. If your employer disputes the underlying claim, this can result in a workers' compensation settlement not paid on time.

Reach out for help from your lawyer when you're asking, “Why do employers dispute a workers' compensation claim?” At Pothitakis Law Firm, PC, we'll help you defend your benefits, starting with a free consultation. We'll take a look at your claim and show you how we can help before you sign anything.

When you're ready to fight back, reach out for your free consultation from your Iowa work comp attorney. Give us a call at 319-754-6400 or complete the online form below.

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For the past 15 years Mr. Pothitakis has focused his practice on Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Cases. The firm has two locations, one being in Burlington, Iowa and the other in Keokuk, Iowa. Mr. Pothitakis works with many area unions and employee organizations to provide advice, assistance, and guidance as it relates to employment issues. Mr. Pothitakis provides free consultations to those with legal questions in the firm's areas of practice. In this initial meeting or conference potential clients are provided advice on their need for assistance and how they need to proceed.