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Understand Idaho’s Workers’ Compensation Law Regarding Choosing Your Own Doctor

If you were hurt on the job, your first instinct might be to call your own doctor and schedule an appointment. However, when you must file a workers’ compensation claim, you will need to follow Idaho’s workers’ compensation law in order to receive benefits. This could limit your ability to pick your own doctor and could cause problems if you do not feel confident about the doctor you are required to see and the medical treatment he is proposing.

What You Need to Know About Picking Your Own Doctor in Your Workers’ Compensation Case

Like in many states, Idaho’s workers’ compensation law allows employers to pick an injured workers’ doctor in most situations. The following rules apply:

  • An employer can require you to see a designated doctor, but must inform you of this before you go to see a physician for treatment.
  • You can pick your own doctor if your employer has not designated a doctor or if the injuries are a medical emergency and the treatment from the doctor you have chosen is more readily available.

When your employer designates a doctor, you must see this doctor to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. If you choose to see your own doctor instead, your medical bills most likely will not be paid through workers’ compensation.

Unfortunately, employers or their insurance companies will choose designated doctors that they routinely use and pay to treat injured employees in workers’ compensation cases. It is critical to remember that this doctor is not your friend and may not be looking out for your best interests. He may try to minimize the severity of your injury, identify it as a preexisting non-covered injury, or provide treatments that you do not agree with.

When seeing an employer-selected doctor, you need to be careful what you say to him. For example, if you injured your back in a work-related accident, you may not want to tell him about a back injury you suffered 20 years ago that has never bothered you since then. He could use this type of information to deny your claim.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to change your designated doctor if you do not believe you are receiving proper medical care. If your employer will not agree to this, you may have to file a petition and obtain an administrative judge’s permission to do so.

Are you concerned about the medical care you are receiving in your workers’ compensation case? Call me at 888.716.8021 to schedule a free consultation to learn how I can assist you in resolving this problem with your employer’s insurance company or filing a petition for you.