You have been injured in a serious accident. Maybe you were involved in a car crash or suffered severe injuries in a work-related accident, for example. Not only are you injured, but there are the added stressors of feeling like you may have little to no say in who is providing your medical treatment.
Evidence suggests that the healing process is faster and more manageable when you are under the care of a trusted professional. Fortunately, in most circumstances, you will have the right to choose your own healthcare provider when pursuing a personal injury claim. However, there may be some instances in which this is not the case. A Ponca City personal injury lawyer can help advise you of your rights in these situations.
When You Can Choose Your Own Physician
When you have been injured in a devastating accident, it is natural for you to want to receive care from a known and trusted physician and facility. Fortunately, you will generally have the right to choose your own healthcare provider when you have been involved in any type of accident.
There is no reason you should not be able to see your own primary care doctor, choose your preferred hospital or urgent care facility, or otherwise select a healthcare provider you feel comfortable with. Your healthcare provider’s medical records, prognosis, and expert opinion will then be used to support your case against the liable party.
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Can I Choose My Doctor for a Work Injury?
Oklahoma worker’s compensation laws make it more challenging for you to choose your own care. You typically must be under the care of someone chosen for you by your employer or their insurer. According to the Oklahoma Workers Compensation Commission (WCC), employers are legally required to provide necessary and reasonable medical treatment for their employees when they suffer a work-related injury.
This medical coverage must be available within five days of the incident. Your employer will then have the right to choose which healthcare provider you should obtain treatment from. This means initially, you may not have much control over which physician is assigned to you.
What About Medical Emergencies?
However, if you require immediate emergency medical attention, you may seek the emergency medical care that is necessary by the provider of your choosing. Your employer will be required to cover the costs of these emergency medical treatments. If possible, try to contact your immediate supervisor to inform them that you require emergency medical care due to a work-related injury.
If you are unable to inform your employer in advance, try to contact them and inform them as soon as possible, as you may be required to do so within 30 days or run the risk of losing your right to worker’s compensation benefits.
Additionally, if your employer has not fulfilled their obligations, you may be able to choose your own physician. In this case, your employer still must cover your expenses. In some cases, you may be able to take legal action if your employer or their insurance provider does not follow these rules and regulations. If you do wish to take legal action, it is important to act quickly to ensure the procedures and paperwork are filed within the appropriate time frame.
If You Are Unhappy with Your Treatment, You Can Change Doctors
If you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit and are unhappy with your treatment or the care you receive from your healthcare provider, you have the right to choose a new healthcare provider at any time.
However, before you do so, make sure you discuss your options first with your personal injury attorney. We need to make sure your healthcare provider’s medical opinion and advice will benefit the outcome of your case and not put your right to financial compensation in jeopardy.
Can I Change Doctors After a Work-Related Accident?
If you are unhappy and not receiving the quality of care that you deserve from the physician that was assigned to you after a work-related accident, there are several ways for you to switch your physician.
If your employer has a contract with a Certified Workplace Medical Plan (CWMP), you can use the CW MP to choose a new healthcare provider within the network. However, if your employer does not have a contract through the CWMP, you have the right to contact the Oklahoma WCC and request a transfer of physician.
This is only available one time, and you will be able to select a provider from a list of three alternative physicians. Before you make your decision, be sure to review and research each name thoroughly to determine which one is the best fit for you.
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Can Anyone Else Attend My Doctor’s Appointment?
Without your permission, you are not under any legal obligation to allow anyone else to attend your doctor’s appointments. This is true whether you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit or worker’s compensation benefits.
Although your medical records will provide valuable evidence that can be used to prove liability, negligence, and the extent of your injuries, there is nothing in the law that requires you to allow the liable party, your employer, or other involved parties to access your medical records or attend your physician’s appointments.
If you received notification from the insurance company, your employer, or the liable party demanding otherwise, make sure you reach out to your personal injury attorney to get answers and protect your rights.
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Get in Touch with a Reputable Personal Injury Attorney in Oklahoma Today
Managing and preparing a personal injury or worker’s compensation claim can be time-consuming and difficult to manage. Choosing the right healthcare provider may be one of the most important decisions you make. It is crucial for you to work with an experienced and professional personal injury lawyer at BDIW Law so you understand your rights and ensure the at-fault party is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Without compromising integrity and compassion, we are here to maximize your compensation. Our personal injury team will review your medical treatment and care to guide you through the claims process and protect your rights when choosing a physician or when filing any type of legal claim. Contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation, and take back control of your life.
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