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Does workers' compensation law allow a change of physician?

For various reasons, when a California worker is injured on the job or suffers a condition because of the work they were doing, they might want to change the physician they see for treatment. Workers' compensation has certain rules and regulations that determine what a worker can do in terms of treatment and it is important to understand this before moving forward with such a change. Failure to adhere to the rules can cause a problem with receiving the maximum in workers' compensation benefits. It can even cause the loss of workers' compensation. Having legal assistance when getting the benefits and adhering to the law is important.

The employee can request one change of physician during the workers' compensation process. This request can be made at any point. When the request is made, the employer or insurer has a limited amount of time to provide the new physician. The injured employee does not necessarily need to ask for a new physician as he or she can request a chiropractor or an acupuncturist. This must be allowed within five workdays of the request. If it is a serious case, the employee can ask for a consulting physician or other care provider and the employer must pay for it.

If the employee had a personal chiropractor or acupuncturist before the injury occurred, he or she is required to have informed the employer of this. When that information was provided, the employee can then ask for the chiropractor to be the personal chiropractor and the acupuncturist to be the personal acupuncturist. These treatment providers must have directed the employee's treatment and have records to that effect including the treatment history.

Being a work accident victim carries with it a variety of concerns that will occupy a worker's thoughts even as treatment is being provided. One is whether another physician can be requested and if chiropractors and acupuncturists can be used. With these issues and any other consideration related to workers' compensation claims, having legal advice is helpful. To ensure a worker receives the benefits they are entitled to, it is often beneficial to have a workers' compensation attorney.

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  • San Jose: 408-624-8420
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