In New York, if you're hurt on the job, you're likely eligible for workers' compensation benefits like medical treatment. The doctor that treats you plays a significant role in your claim, which is why finding the right doctor is essential. Your workers' compensation doctor will:
- Diagnose your injury or illness
- Determine whether your condition is work-related
- Determine if you're able to work
- Place restrictions on your job duties
- Develop your treatment plan
- Refer you to specialists, if necessary
- Decide when you've recovered as much as can be expected (reached maximum medical improvement—MMI)
- Determine whether—and to what extent—your injuries resulted in permanent limitations
Fortunately, New York makes it relatively easy for injured workers to find a doctor that's right for them and their claim. Generally, the state lets you choose any authorized doctor from a list of providers registered with the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB). However, in some cases, your employer's workers' compensation insurer may require you to see a doctor from their approved network for your initial visit.
After 30 days, if you don't feel the network physician is a good match, you can switch to any doctor on the WCB list of authorized providers. The workers' compensation system also makes it easy to get a second opinion. In fact, doing so is recommended for serious injuries, especially those requiring surgery.
Additionally, even though you can choose to receive treatment from any authorized doctor, your employer's workers' comp insurer may require you to use an approved diagnostic network for MRIs, CT scans, x-rays, and other tests.
Need Help Navigating Your Claim?
At O'Connor Law PLLC, our team of knowledgeable and skilled workers' compensation attorneys help injured workers secure the benefits they need and deserve. We can do the same for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.