Why must I use my employer's doctor?

by Ben
(Bladen County, NC)

I wrecked a truck I used to drive while at work. I went to my own doctor who gave me a note to stay out of work due to my lower back pain I developed because of the wreck. He says I must not work until released. My employer refuses to accept my doctor's note or diagnosis. They say I have to go to their doctor in order to get a note.

Is this legal? If so, why can't I use my own doctor? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Why must I use my employer's doctor?":

Ben (Bladen County, NC):

You can always use your own doctor. Unfortunately, if you want to receive coverage from your employer’s workers compensation benefits, you must abide by workers comp rules and regulations. They state you must see one of their approved doctors. Ask your employer for a list of his worker's comp insurance company's approved doctors. Pick one and make an appointment. You can see your own doctor at the same time, although you will be responsible for his or her fees.

If you see one of the doctors on your employer’s insurance company’s approved list, and do not agree with his or her diagnosis or prognosis, you have the right to ask to see another company approved doctor.

Presuming the approved doctor(s) decide your injuries merit your taking time off from work, your employer will be responsible for your lost wages, medical bills, and out of pocket expenses for medications, etc. Unfortunately, pain and suffering is usually not compensable in workers compensation injuries.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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