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  • Writer's pictureGibbs & Sellers

Second opinions might complicate worker’s comp claims

Alabama job providers must carry worker’s compensation insurance to cover the costs of workplace injuries arising from accidents. The insurance policy protects workers by paying for their medical costs and providing income until they can return to work. It also protects employers against potential lawsuits for workplace accidents and ensures a trained worker can return instead of having to hire a new worker to undergo yet more training.

What to do if you are injured or take ill while working

Worker’s comp covers the costs of medical treatment when you are injured or take ill due to a workplace accident or working conditions. There are no limits on where the worker can obtain medical treatment, but the employer must be notified of the injury or illness as soon as possible. It is best to give notice in writing whenever possible, preferably by notifying a supervisor right away and noting the injury and circumstances causing it. A verbal notice is sufficient but workers should not delay treatment if a supervisor is not available.

Personal doctors are okay

Injured workers do not have to obtain medical treatment from a doctor chosen by the employer. A personal doctor is acceptable and especially when an ongoing medical relationship already exists. Use of chiropractors for medical treatment might be the only limited source of medical care. Your employer can require a second opinion with a doctor of their choosing, but you can bring your own medical doctor or another representative to the appointment.

Insurer can demand a second opinion

The insurer providing the worker’s comp coverage many times will require a second opinion from a doctor of its choosing. That doctor only provides a medical opinion and is not supposed to investigate the matter or provide opinions regarding potential fault or liability. After the examination concludes, the doctor must provide a written medical opinion within 30 days.

The insurer typically gives the second opinion more weight, which might compromise you claim. If so, an experienced worker’s comp attorney in Demopolis can help build an effective case and affirm your full rights as an injured worker.

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