When you’re injured on the job in Maryland, you have a right to expect medical care through the workers’ compensation system.
Fortunately, unlike many states, Maryland workers enjoy broad rights when it comes to seeking and receiving such medical care. Here are answers to a few important questions:
Can your employer force you to pick a preferred physician?
Your employer may have you go to a medical clinic or doctor immediately after an accident. Those doctors may assess you but may not actively treat you without your consent. Once the initial medical treatment is rendered you still have a right to choose your own physician for any active or extended treatment. The Employer or an Insurance Adjuster may try to pressure you to stay with their selected medical provider. You may decline and seek medical treatment from a physician of your choosing who accepts Workers’ Compensation cases.
Can any doctor treat you for a work-related injury?
Workers’ comp claims are governed by the Medical Fee Guide and there are a lot of rules that must be followed when making a claim and submitting a bill for treatment. Some medical practices simply don’t want the hassle, and some don’t have the time. When you make an appointment to see a doctor, make sure that you ask whether they accept patients with work-related injuries.
What if there are questions or conflicts about your care?
You may be asked by the Employer’s Insurer to submit to an independent medical examination by a third-party physician. This is usually done when there are questions about a doctor’s evaluation or the severity of your condition and your ability to return to work. A refusal to submit to the independent exam will automatically put your benefits in danger.
Workers’ compensation is supposed to be an easy process, but it doesn’t always work out that way. If you’re having trouble getting the benefits you need, learn more about your legal options. Contact an attorney whose practice concentrates in the area of Workers’ Compensation.