When you’re hurt or sick, having a doctor you trust is important. Unfortunately, Florida’s laws give your employer (or their insurance carrier) the right to pick the physician you see for any on-the-job injuries.
There are, however, a few notable exceptions to the rule:
- You have a medical emergency. When you require immediate medical attention and there’s no time to report your injury to your employer and get a referral to an approved provider, you can seek treatment at an emergency room. As long as you report the injury and treatment to your employer as soon as possible, your care should still be covered.
- Your employer or their insurer fails to provide you with treatment. Maybe your boss tells you to “walk it off,” after you report an injury and blatantly ignores your request for a referral to a doctor. Maybe you’ve been in contact with the insurer about your need for treatment, but the promised referral to an authorized physician never comes. In that case, the law permits you to obtain initial treatment at your employer’s expense.
- You want to change your doctor. If you don’t like the doctor you’re assigned, you’re entitled to a one-time change of physician. If, once you’ve made your request for a change and waited a reasonable time for a response without hearing anything, you may be able to select your own physician for treatment.
Frankly, none of these situations can be easy. It’s better to have a workers’ compensation attorney on your side. Advocating for your rights when you’re injured or unwell isn’t a job to tackle on your own.