Worker’s compensation claims are a mystery to most employees, and even many employers. One question many people have is whether they can use their own doctor for treatment, and if not, who gets to decide. The goal of this guide is to shed some light on this complex subject so employees know what their rights are and what they should do in the event of needing to file a worker’s compensation claim.
The very first thing you must do when injured at work is twofold: seek needed emergency medical attention and inform your supervisor of the incident and injury. State law mandates you have 30 days to report the injury, although it is advisable to let them know as soon as possible. Your employer then reports the incident to their insurance company and the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, which oversees worker’s compensation in the state.
Every state has different rules, so it is important to understand both state and federal laws and work with a professional attorney licensed to practice in your state. In some states, workers are not allowed to choose their own doctor for worker’s compensation claims. Instead, they must see the doctor designated by their employer’s insurer or a physician within that insurer’s network.
In Mississippi, however, that is not the case. You have the right to choose the doctor from whom you will receive care. Think of this provider as your designated doctor for the claim. Your doctor can refer you to one specialist without permission from the insurance company, but additional referrals must obtain approval in advance. An added benefit is that you are not required to go to a licensed medical doctor. You could choose a chiropractor, for example, instead.
Mississippi is also a no-fault state when it comes to worker’s compensation. This is mandated by the Mississippi Workers Compensation Act. What this means is that the claim is paid regardless of fault on the part of the employee. This does have a downside for employees, however, as it means workers in Mississippi cannot sue their employers for damages or compensation such as pain and suffering.
Before you begin concerning yourself with who gets to choose your doctor, however, it is important to establish that you are, in fact, entitled to worker’s compensation.
Seek the advice of a qualified and experienced attorney in your area for aid with any worker’s compensation claim. Depending on the nature of the incident and the actions taken by all involved parties, the litigation of a worker’s compensation claim can be complex and lengthy, and you will want caring, experienced professionals on your side.
If you have suffered an injury at work, get in touch with a personal injury attorney specializing in worker’s compensation cases for advice, to understand your rights and represent you throughout the case if necessary. ‘’Maggio | Thompson serves the state of Mississippi in personal injury cases both big and small. Give us a call for a consultation today to take the next step forward.