Can I Choose My Own Doctor for Treatment of a Work-Related Injury?

by James M. Hoffmann on Sep. 08, 2023

Accident & Injury Employment  Workers' Compensation 

Summary: In Missouri, employers typically select the doctor for work injuries. However, with legal guidance, there may be exceptions.

When an unfortunate incident at work leads to an injury, one of the immediate concerns is medical treatment. The process of recovery should be as smooth as possible. A common question arises in these situations: "Can I choose my own doctor for treatment of a work-related injury?" The answer, especially for those in Missouri, isn't always straightforward. 


Your Rights After a Work Injury

First and foremost, every injured worker has rights. If you’ve been injured on the job, you are generally entitled to medical care under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, the extent to which you can choose your own doctor varies from state to state.


Missouri’s Stance

In Missouri, the law allows employers or their workers' compensation insurance carriers to select the physician who will provide treatment. This means that, generally, your employer has the right to designate which doctor you should see for your work-related injury.


However, there are certain circumstances where you might be able to see your own doctor. For instance, if you need emergency treatment, you can typically go to the nearest medical facility or hospital. Yet, for non-emergency situations, you generally must follow your employer's directives, or you risk paying the medical bills yourself.


Understandable, you may want to choose which doctor you see. Being able to choose your own physician has several benefits:

  1. Familiarity: If you've been seeing a particular doctor for years, they have a comprehensive understanding of your medical history. This can lead to more personalized and effective treatments.

  2. Trust: Trust between a patient and doctor can be a significant factor in the recovery process. A familiar doctor might make the patient feel more at ease, potentially leading to better outcomes.

  3. Specialized care: If your injury requires a specialist, having the freedom to choose can ensure that you get the best care available.


What If I'm Unsatisfied with the Designated Doctor?

If you're unhappy with the care provided by the physician chosen by your employer or their insurance, you’re not entirely without options. Missouri law allows you to request a change of physician. However, making this request doesn’t guarantee approval. The process can be complex, and it's here that having an experienced workers compensation attorney can make a difference.


The Value of Legal Representation

Addressing the question, "Can I choose my own doctor for treatment of a work-related injury?", often requires more than just a basic understanding of workers' compensation law. There are nuances and details in every case that can impact your rights and the compensation you might receive.


This is where the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann comes into the picture. With over 30 years of experience in the field, James M. Hoffmann has represented thousands of workers in Missouri. His deep understanding of the system and the challenges workers face can guide you through the complexities of choosing your physician after a work-related injury.


Furthermore, with the stakes being your health and financial well-being, you want someone by your side who knows the ins and outs of the system. The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has managed thousands of cases, ensuring that workers get the care and compensation they deserve.


St. Louis Workers Compensation Attorney

To sum it up, while Missouri law typically allows employers to decide on the treating physician for work-related injuries, there are exceptions and nuances. It's essential to understand your rights and navigate the system effectively to ensure that you receive the best possible medical care.


And while the system might feel overwhelming, remember that you don't have to navigate it alone. For guidance, support, and representation, speak with a Missouri work injury attorney. If you're asking, "Can I choose my own doctor for treatment of a work-related injury?", it's time to reach out to the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. With over 30 years of experience, thousands of cases under his belt, and a commitment to the rights of workers, you'll be in safe hands. Plus, with a free consultation and 24/7 availability, there’s no reason not to call and get the assistance you deserve. Call (314) 361-4300

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