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Getting Additional Workers Compensation Medical Second Opinions4 minute read

Georgia workers compensation covers the medical treatment you need for your injury, but there are limits on what it covers.  One limit is that you cannot just pick any doctor you want to treat your injury.  Most of the time, you have to pick a doctor off a list maintained by your employer or get an order from a judge saying you can see a different doctor.

Often, you may have questions about what the workers compensation doctor recommends.  In this situation, it can be important to consider the options you have to get a second opinion from another doctor.

Female doctor reviews brain MRIWhy might I need a second opinion from another doctor?

Several things can happen in your case that could make you consider getting a second opinion.

  • Your doctor recommends a course of treatment and you have questions about whether you should pursue the course of treatment
  • A doctor recommends that you get a second opinion
  • Your workers compensation doctor says you can return to work, but you know you are going to have significant difficulties doing your job
  • The insurance company denies medical treatment that you need

When these things happen, you will probably want to think about whether a second opinion from another doctor would help you.  Sometimes, you will need to have that second opinion to make sure you receive the medical treatment and benefits you should.

How can I get a second opinion?

There are several different ways that you can get a second opinion from a doctor.  This article I wrote discusses many of the different options that you can consider.  Unfortunately, some of the options for getting another medical opinion can only be used once.

For example, you only have a one time free change on the panel of physicians.  This right lets you change from one doctor to another doctor on the panel of physicians without requiring your employer’s permission.  Once you use that right, you may not be able to change doctors on the panel again.

Another second opinion right that you generally only get to use once is the right to an independent medical evaluation with a doctor of your choosing.  You generally only get to choose one independent medical evaluation in your whole case.  Georgia’s workers compensation laws place certain limits on when you get to use this right.

Can I get more than one second opinion?

Many injured workers get sent to multiple “second opinion” doctors by the workers compensation insurance company.  The insurance company can use its right to get an independent medical examination almost as much as it would like.  I have had clients sent for more than five independent medical examinations.

Since the insurance company is paying for these examinations, the law does not place a certain number limit on the times that the insurance company can get second opinion examinations.  If the insurance company wants to send you for too many examinations, you may be able to argue that is not reasonable.

Fortunately, you can also get more than one second opinion examination.  However, getting additional second opinions may be trickier for you.

Male doctor talking with male patientOne way you can get additional second opinions is to pay for them.  This lets you see another doctor to get another opinion.  Unfortunately, it also costs money.

Since medical treatment can be expensive, it may be difficult for you to find the money to pay for a second opinion with a doctor when you are trying to get by after a workers compensation injury.  In some cases, your attorney might cover the cost of getting a second opinion if it is needed to help your case.

If I cannot pay for a second opinion, are there other ways that I can get an additional second opinion?

Yes.  Another way that you can get a second opinion is by having your treating workers compensation doctor refer you for a second opinion with another doctor. If your main workers compensation doctor refers you for a second opinion, the insurance company should have to pay for that second opinion appointment.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
moombimoombi
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.
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