Your Employer Can Send You For a Second Medical Opinion

Originally Posted on January 27, 2015

An injured worker in Louisiana is entitled to choose her own physician in every field or specialty. The choice of physician must be reasonable.  For example, if you have a foot injury, you will not be approved for an evaluation with a dentist. The choice of physician is very important.  Once you make your choice, you will not be able to change physicians within the same field or specialty, without the insurance company’s authorization. For example, if your physician moves out of state, the insurance company would authorize a new choice.  However, if you simply do not like what your physician is telling you, the insurance company will not authorize a new choice.

Conversely, your employer or insurance company is allowed its own choice of physician. This is referred to as a second medical opinion. Often, the second medical opinion doctor will address the findings and recommendations of your choice of physician. The injured worker is entitled to at least 14 days notice of the scheduling of a second medical opinion. It is vitally important that you attend the second medical opinion evaluation. Failure to attend the appointment will likely result in the suspension of all benefits. If suspended, your benefits will not be reinstated until you comply with attending the second medical opinion evaluation.

Always Keep Your Medical Records

Originally Posted on September 6, 2013

While it is important that you show up for all of your medical appointments, it is just as important that you keep track of what any doctor is reporting to the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation insurance company about your medical condition, your ability to return to work, and any type of treatment you may need in the future.

This is an important practice to follow, particularly when the insurance company sends you on an evaluation with a doctor that they choose.  When you go to these appointments, the doctor, psychologist, or therapist your employer or your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company has chosen for you should give you a copy of their report when they give a copy to the insurance company. You are entitled to a copy. Unfortunately, if you are unrepresented by an attorney, this is one of those rules that you will likely have to enforce yourself by asking for a copy from the Workers’ Compensation insurance company or the doctor’s, psychologist’s, or therapist’s office.

At Mensman Law Firm, we are able to get these records for our clients.  It helps us continue to protect their rights.