Visitor Question

Can I demand to see my original surgeon?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Redding, CA)

I fractured my wrist and tore the TFCC (Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex) in 2013 and had surgery. I was released for full duty at work after physical therapy. I re-injured my wrist at work shortly after returning to full duty and filed for Workers’ Comp. I received an MRI that showed I had re-torn the TFCC.

Instead of sending me to the surgeon who originally repaired my wrist (who takes Workers’ Comp), the workers’ comp representative sent me to a different surgeon after I told her I would like to see the original surgeon.

Do I have any legal ground to insist on seeing my original surgeon? Can workers’ comp force me to see the doctor they want? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Unfortunately, when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance companies they can send an injured covered worker to just about any physician they choose. You do though have a right to ask them to permit you to see the original physician, and to pay for the treatment he or she renders.

If the workers’ comp adjuster refuses, then you also have the right to ask to see another physician on the insurance company’s approved list of physicians. Maybe the next physician will agree with the findings you believe are appropriate for your type of injury.

If the insurance company refuses you can seek out the original physician for treatment or seek another physician. However if you do, it is likely you will have to pay for the treatment out of your own pocket.

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

Best of luck,

Published: April 28, 2015

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