Under Florida’s workers’ compensation laws, your employer’s insurance company must pay for all of your reasonable and necessary medical treatments if you suffer a workplace injury.
However, you must see a doctor chosen by the carrier. If you're unhappy with your quality of care, you have a right to switch physicians—but can only do this one time while receiving benefits.
Reasons You May Need to Switch Doctors
Many doctors selected by the insurance company to treat injured workers provide quality care. Others may be more concerned about saving the insurance company money so they continue to receive referrals. Here are reasons why you may decide to change doctors:
- Lack of diagnostic tests. MRIs, x-rays, and other tests are expensive, and your doctor may avoid running them to save money. However, these medical tests may be critical to identify your exact condition and accurately monitor your healing process.
- Overuse of pain medication. Pain medication is far less expensive than treatments such as physical therapy or surgery. Although helpful, meds are often only a temporary fix to relieve some painful symptoms. If your physician won't treat your injury with the more expensive treatments that enable you to recover as much as you can, it may be time to choose a new doctor.
- Lack of skill. Depending on your injury, you might need a specialist to treat it. For example, you may require an orthopedic doctor if you suffered a ruptured disc or torn cartilage, tendons, or ligaments. If the insurance company chooses a general practitioner for you, he may not have the skill to properly treat your injuries.
When Can You Change Doctors in Florida?
You only have a right to switch physicians once while receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Florida. Here's how this works:
- You must notify the insurance company of your request to change doctors in writing. Keep a copy of this notice for your records.
- The insurance company must respond to your request within five days and provide you with a new doctor.
- If it doesn't comply within this timeframe, you have the right to select one yourself.
Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help you make a request to switch doctors and navigate the complexities of filing a workers’ comp claim so you receive the benefits you deserve. Take advantage of our free consultation to learn more. Call our office today or fill out the brief contact form on this site to schedule your appointment.