It makes sense that any time you are injured or sick, you have the right to go see your own personal doctor. Unfortunately, after sustaining an injury or occupational illness at work, some employers will tell you that is not the case. Many employers will tell you that you must see a doctor of their choosing or the insurance company’s choosing after a workplace accident. Below, our Castleton workers’ compensation lawyer outlines when you can see your own doctor, and when you cannot.
When Do You Have to See Your Employer’s Doctor in Vermont?
Your employer may tell you that you must seek treatment from a specific doctor. Under the law in Vermont, though, this requirement only applies to the first visit. If, after that first visit, you do not agree with your employer’s doctor, or you simply want to see your own family doctor, you have the right to do so. After you have met with your employer’s doctor once, you are no longer required to see them for treatment.
The Role of Form 8 in Workers’ Compensation Claim
Your employer does have the right to require you to see their doctor if you become hurt and plan to file a worker’s compensation claim. After the first visit, you have the absolute right to see your own doctor instead of or in addition to the employer’s doctor. You may be asked to complete Form 8, the Notice of Intent to Change Health Care Provider, and provide it to the employer and/or insurance company. However, in the vast majority of cases, the insurance company will not require you to file a Form 8 and you can still choose your own doctor.
Occupational Health Centers
Many employers in Vermont send employees to an “ occupational health “ office for treatment. This can be good and bad for employees. It can be good because it is easier to get workers comp to pay for specialists and testing when an occupational health center makes the referral. However, it can be bad because sometimes these occupational health centers cater too much to the insurance company’s or employer’s needs and wishes. For example, they may only refer for medical care that the insurance company IME doctor recommends, and may stop treating you if the insurance company says it won’t pay.
Even if your employer did not provide you with a Form 8, you still have the right to refuse to go to an occupational health center for care and to find your own doctor.
What if There is an In-House Doctor at My Work?
It is not uncommon for large companies, such as the GE Aviation plant, to provide a medical center on-site. These companies require employees to see doctors at these centers in order to evaluate work restrictions. Even if you continue to get care at an employer medical center, you should always get treatment from your own doctor as well to make sure your medical interests are put ahead of the employer or insurance company.
Call Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Castleton for Help with Your Case
Our Castleton workers’ compensation lawyer at Larson & Gallivan Law knows the intricacies associated with employee injury claims, and we are dedicated to helping employees claim the full benefits they deserve. If you have been hurt, we can provide legal advice about every part of your claim and help you claim the maximum benefits you are rightfully entitled to. Call us now at 802-327-8458 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.