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' Comp 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. That means 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.  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. Ready to get a second opinion? Get started today by calling 866-753-4692 or by completing the online contact form below. 
Photo of Niko Pothitakis
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.