After being injured, most injured workers find their way to a doctor to make sure they are medically able to keep working with the injury they have. However for various reasons the employer may not reimburse or pay for the medical care you receive. Why is that?
Well in Georgia, the employer is required to maintain a posted panel of physicians. This is a fancy word for list of doctors you can treat with if you are injured on the job. There are several legal requirements that the “posted panel of physicians” must meet.
If the employer meets all of the legal requirements, then they arguably have a valid “posted panel of physicians”, and you are required to treat with the doctors they have listed. There are always exceptions to any rules, so you should always reach out to a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney for specific questions to your claim.
Some exceptions would include emergency care. If you are seriously injured and require emergency care, that is typically covered by the employer. However, if you go to your own doctor instead of a doctor listed on the panel, the employer may not have to pay for that care.
If, on the other hand your employer does not have a legally valid “posted panel of physicians”, you may be able to treat with your physician. However not all doctors take workers’ compensation patients and to save you frustration of having to find another doctor you may want to call in advance of your visit.
Are there other reasons the employer may not pay for your doctor’s visit? You bet. There are several. The employer may not think your injury was related to your work accident. In other words, your employer may believe you have a pre-existing condition you are attempting to make the employer pay for you pre-existing injury.
If you employer has denied your claim, they may or may not tell you. Meaning they may call you and tell you we will not pay for this medical bill or appointment. Or, they may just not return your call and not get back to you on payment of your medical bills. That is when you need to make a serious decision on if the matter is worth pursuing as an injured worker.
Not all claims are worth pursuing. If you think your claim is worth pursuing then you should speak with a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer because you will likely have to file a hearing to attempt to enforce what you claim you are entitled too under the law.
Be informed. Be aware. Be prepared.
Ty Wilson is a Georgia workers compensation attorney, with offices in Savannah and Atlanta, who provides free information to the injured and the families of the injured. Visit tywilsonlaw.com to order his FREE Georgia workers compensation “Special Reports” and to read his many articles and to watch his videos.
If you have specific questions for a workers compensation attorney in Georgia, give Ty at call 912-508-4711 in Savannah or 770-948-5454 in Atlanta.