You have gotten some medical treatment from a workers’ comp doctor but are still in a lot of pain. The doctor tells you, “You are just going to have to learn to live with pain.” Is that right? Is there nothing you can do?
Doctors cannot fix everything. But, that does not mean the workers’ comp doctor is right when he or she tells you that you just need to learn to live with pain.
Should I get another medical opinion?
You may want to find out if another doctor has some treatment to offer. If your pain is severe enough that you are wondering if you should get another opinion, then it is probably worth your time to find out if something else can be done.
The workers’ compensation insurance company has an obligation to pay for medical treatment you need to get you better. It saves the insurance company money when you do not get medical treatment. Your goal should not be to save them money. Your goal should be to get the treatment you need to recover from your injury.
The insurance company will probably not push to get you to another doctor. You will probably have to take it on yourself or get help from an attorney. There are several different ways that you can get another opinion about medical treatment. Take a look at my past article about second opinions for some ideas.
What if the second opinion doctor offers me a plan for getting better?
Getting the second opinion is the first step. If the second opinion doctor offers a good plan, you will want to try to make the workers’ compensation insurance company pay for the recommended treatment.
Georgia workers’ compensation has special rules about what doctors the insurance company has to pay. To get treatment with the new doctor paid by workers’ compensation, the new doctor must become an “authorized” doctor in your case.
This is probably going to involve changing your authorized treating physician. There are several ways to do this. If you can succeed in doing this, then you will probably be able to get the recommended treatment.
Why can’t I just choose the doctor I want when my current workers’ comp doctor has nothing to offer me?
Actually, you may be able to choose who you want. There are some Georgia court cases that could help you argue that you can just pick the doctor you want when the doctor has nothing more to offer you. But the exact facts of your case will matter a lot in determining whether you can do this.
Because of that, make sure to talk with a workers’ compensation attorney before you just pick a doctor and start getting treatment. Otherwise, you could end up with a large medical bill that you cannot force the insurance company to pay.
You need to make sure things are done the right way because the insurance company should be the one paying for the medical treatment for your work-related injury.
Will it cost me money to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney?
It will not cost you anything to talk to me or one of the other workers’ compensation attorneys in our office. We provide free consultations in workers’ compensation cases.
Many people have questions about what a free consultation is. You should know what one is and what a free consultation with our office will provide before you set one up. If you are considering whether you should set one up, take a look at this article which provides information about how the free consultation process with our office works in a workers’ compensation case.
Let me know if I can help.
Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers. He regularly blogs about Georgia’s workers’ compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.
You can subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation channel on YouTube.