If you suffer from an injury while on the job, then you must go through the proper channels of handling the aftermath. This includes notifying your employer and filing for benefits.
However, things can get a little dicey if you have to go see a doctor that your employer picked out.
The risk of substandard care
According to California’s Department of Industrial Relations, unless a worker has their physician pre-approved by their employer, they will likely not get to use that doctor. Instead, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will pick out a doctor, and you must see that doctor in order to collect your benefits.
Unfortunately, instances have happened in the past where a doctor picked by an insurance company will intentionally send a worker back to their job before they are fully healed and prepared for the return. They do this so the company and insurance will lose less money because benefits end when the worker returns to the job.
What steps can you take?
In California, all workers’ compensation insurance companies need to have an entire network of medical professionals to pull from. That way, if you feel unsatisfied with the initial doctor, you can request a second or third opinion from within the network.
In some cases, you may even end up authorized to work with a doctor outside of this network, though the circumstances behind these choices are often extenuating.
Workers should not have to deal with the anxiety, dread and pain of returning to work before feeling ready. If you find your doctor is pressing too hard for your return, consider looking into a second opinion.