When you are injured on the job, you have two priorities. You need to seek medical treatment for your injuries and report the accident to your employer. If your injuries require emergency medical treatment, always seek treatment as your first priority and report the accident to your employer as soon as possible after you are stable. You do not want to miss the deadline for filing your workers’ compensation claim, but also do not want to jeopardize your health or recovery by delaying medical treatment.
When injured workers or their families have questions about workers’ comp claims in Maryland, they can always reach out to our Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for answers. We will guide you through the process to ensure your rights are protected. Contact our office by calling 410-525-5337 or chatting with someone on our website 24/7.
Can My Employer Tell Me To See a Specific Doctor After a Workers’ Comp Injury in Maryland?
This is one of the many questions the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team answers during a free consultation. Many people are under the mistaken assumption that Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws do not allow workers to choose their doctors after a work-related injury.
This misconception may arise from the fact that an employer does have the right to require the employee to be examined by a doctor chosen by the company. The examination by another physician chosen by the employer allows the employer to confirm the extent of the employee’s injuries and whether the treatment prescribed by another physician is reasonable and necessary. However, an injured worker has the right to choose his or her own physician after a work-related injury.
It is important for you to choose your doctor rather than choose a doctor from a list provided to you by your employer or the workers’ compensation carrier for your employer. You want a physician to treat your injuries and make decisions about your treatment plan that are in your best interests. Doctors recommended by an employer or an insurance provider tend to be employer-friendly. Being employer-friendly does not mean the doctors provide sub-standard care; however, the doctors may be more concerned with getting you back to work than about what is best for your long-term health.
Therefore, if your employer tries to force you to use a company physician, contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team immediately. You have the right under Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws to choose your medical providers. However, the rules are slightly different for harbor workers and longshore workers. These employees have the right to choose their doctor, but the employer must pre-approve the medical provider you choose for the treatment to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
How Can an Employer Interfere With My Right to Choose a Physician?
Even though Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Code is very clear about an injured worker having the right to choose his or her own doctor, this fact does not stop employers from attempting to interfere with a workers’ compensation claim. Employers and insurance providers can challenge other aspects of your claim to delay or deny your injury claim unjustly.
For example, the insurance carrier or your employer may allege that your injury or illness was not work-related. It may challenge the treatment prescribed by your physician as being unnecessary or unreasonable. If the insurance company refuses to pay for continued medical treatments, your doctor will not be able to continue treatment unless you can pay for the treatments out of your pocket.
It can become very frustrating when a workers’ compensation carrier or an employer denies a valid medical treatment that your doctor tells you that you need. Furthermore, denying valid medical treatments can jeopardize your health by delaying necessary medical care. Some employees have given into these tactics and switch doctors. However, you can challenge your employer and its insurance carrier.
Filing an Appeal or a Challenge to a Workers’ Compensation Decision
It can be confusing to know what to do if your workers’ comp claim is denied or unjustly delayed. You may feel overwhelmed as you try to understand the various deadlines and steps involved in filing a formal petition to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. We want you to know that you do not need to do this alone.
The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team fights aggressively for clients who have been treated unfairly by their employers or insurance providers. We stand up for the rights of injured workers before the Workers’ Compensation Commission to argue for fair and just treatment under Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws. Do not let your employer or its insurance carrier convince you that you have no other alternative but to accept what it offers you. You have rights and our Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys will help you exercise those rights to the fullest.
Contact Pinder Plotkin for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured at work, we want to help. Contact our Maryland workers’ comp attorneys by calling our Parkville office at (410) 525-5337 or our Bel Air office at (410) 893-9111.
The information provided in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. The information contained in this blog is also subject to change and should not be relied upon. Contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for a FREE consultation.