In seeking workers’ compensation benefits for medical care in Alabama for a work-related injury, you should seek medical treatment from a physician chosen by your employer or the insurance company of the employer. In most instances, if you seek medical care from your own physician you will be responsible for these costs.
The company’s physician is referred to as the “authorized treating physician,” and is chosen by the company or the company’s insurance. The company has the right to choose this physician to make a prompt examination and provide proper treatment to their employees.
Generally speaking, you can trust the doctor provided to you by the employer. The doctor still has all the same professional standards of any other doctor, and is meant to diagnose and treat your on-the-job injury. However, you should be aware that the doctor’s report will have a large impact on the benefits you will be eligible to receive. The doctor is being paid by the employer or the insurance of the employer and may be incentivized to minimize the seriousness of your injury.
In dealing with the employer’s doctors you should be absolutely honest and answer every question needed to complete your medical attention. However, in answering questions you should be clear about how your medical history relates to the current on the job injury. You should tell the doctor about any major surgeries or diagnosed chronic problems.
Alabama law allows you to change physicians. The employer or its workers’ compensation carrier will provide a Panel of Four physicians and you choose one to be your new authorized treating physician.
One benefit to hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is that we can help you find the best physician who has your best interests in mind.
If you have any questions about doctors, medical treatment or work-related injuries, please call the attorneys at the Nomberg Law Firm (205) 930-6900 or contact us here.