Can I have Second Opinion?

The essence of Worker’s Compensation is that the defendant-employer gets to direct the medical treatment of the employee for a work-related claim. This means that the employee goes to a doctor that is approved by the employer and the employer’s insurance agency. As you could imagine, this tends to create issues in some cases. For instance, an insurance company might send an employee to a doctor that is typically stricter when determining whether work was the cause of a carpal tunnel injury.

The insurance agency’s selection of a medical provider can also be important on the back-end of a claim. For instance, if an employee still has a back injury that has not healed, an employer’s doctor may say that the employee has reached “maximum medical improvement.” This means that there’s really nothing more that can be done to improve the employee’s condition, such as surgical intervention. This can often be a hotly contested point in a Worker’s Compensation case.

In the event that one doctor tells you that further treatment will not benefit you, it is important to note that you have the statutory right under the Worker’s Compensation Act to request a second opinion. This right is limited, and it’s unlikely that you will be able to do it multiple times throughout the life of your claim. However, your attorney can first correspond with the insurance agency to schedule a second opinion. If the insurance company is not willing to grant a second opinion appointment, your attorney can file a motion with the Industrial Commission to force the insurance company to grant the second opinion.

This can be a very powerful tool in your Worker’s Compensation claim. It could mean the difference between having a claim at all, as well as whether you will continue to receive treatment in the future.

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