Can I Change Workers’ Compensation Doctors?
One question I get asked regularly by clients is “Can I change workers’ compensation doctors?”. It is surprising to many of my clients when they find out that they do not get to pick what doctor they get to see following their work accident. In Florida, the insurance company adjuster is the person that selects the doctor for an injured worker. Is there anything you can do if you do not like your doctor in your workers’ compensation case?
Change Workers’ Compensation Doctors
During the course of your treatment, you may decide that you want to change workers’ compensation doctors. You do have limited options that are spelled out in the Florida Workers’ Compensation Statutes. But, there are rules for taking advantage of this statute.
The Rules in Florida
The provision for changing workers compensation doctors is in Florida Statutes Section 440.13(2)(f). According to that statute, if you get hurt on the job you may request a change of doctors during the course of your treatment. But you can only do this one time for any one accident.
Just what you wanted, right? Yet, requesting the change does come with some risk. Since you can only change doctors one time for each accident, there is some chance of getting another doctor that you do not like. In fact, you may like them less than the first doctor. When you make the request, it is the insurance adjuster that picks the new doctor in most cases. Since you can only change once, you cannot go back to the original doctor. that is why we recommend consulting with a lawyer before making your one-time change.
The Change Request Process
According to statute, this is the process for requesting a different doctor:
- You first make your request in writing to the insurance company.
- The insurance adjuster has to respond to the written request five days after receiving the request.
- If the insurance adjuster fails to authorize the change after the five days, then you get to select whatever doctor you want authorized.
- This counts as the one-time change and after that you cannot change again for that particular injury.
This is why it is important to consult an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney. They know how the system works, and may have worked with the insurance company on cases in the past. Their experience can guild you in making the correct decision.
Our firm can assist you in selecting the most appropriate doctor for your complaints and your case.