Choosing a Doctor in a Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Claim

choosing a worker's compensation doctorWisconsin worker’s compensation insurance helps cover any reasonable and necessary medical care to treat a work-related injury or illness. Injured employees have certain rights, including the right to choose their own doctor. However, some limitations do exist when choosing a doctor who will properly treat you and advocate on your behalf in a worker’s compensation claim.

Our legal team discusses the importance of seeking treatment from a doctor with experience handling workplace injuries and how you may be able to change doctors if it is necessary. There is no risk in calling us. Learn more about your rights in a free consultation without obligation to retain our services. 

Role of a Worker’s Comp Doctor

Your treating doctor will play a significant role in your worker’s compensation claim. Unlike a doctor who conducts a single examination, your treating doctor will be monitoring your recovery over time. That is why it so important to select a doctor who has your best interests in mind. He or she will make certain decisions in your claim that could directly impact your recovery and benefits, such as:  

  • Diagnosing your medical condition
  • Determining if the injury is work-related
  • Providing treatment that may require taking certain medications or undergoing physical therapy
  • Possibly referring you to a specialist, such as a spine surgeon or an orthopedic physician
  • Deciding if you need time off work and how much
  • Deciding what your work restrictions will be
  • Determining if you can perform a light-duty job
  • Determining when you have reached maximum medical improvement
  • Evaluating to what extent you have a permanent disability

Wisconsin Law on Choosing a Doctor

Unlike other states, the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act allows injured workers the right to choose their own doctors. Wisconsin Statutes Section 102.42(2) directs employers to offer their employees the choice to receive treatment from a doctor who they trust to provide adequate care.

This could include seeing a physician, chiropractor, psychologist, dentist, physician assistant, advanced practice nurse prescriber, or podiatrist. An employer cannot force an injured worker to avoid going to a doctor of his or her choosing. The employer is also responsible for paying travel costs to/from reasonable medical treatment.

However, there are several limitations that exist. The doctor must also be licensed to practice in Wisconsin. Your employer or insurance company could refuse to pay your medical bill if the doctor you select is not qualified to offer treatment for your work-related injury or illness.

In an emergency, when an injured worker is unconscious or unable to make decisions, his or her employer can choose to send the worker to any emergency medical provider. After being stabilized, you would have the right to choose your own doctor for future treatment. 

Right to Change Your Treating Doctor

If you are dissatisfied with the care you are receiving, you can change your doctor. However, you can only choose up to two treating doctors. After that, you must receive approval from your employer.

Be sure you to inform your employer of your decision to change doctors for any reason and have your new doctor complete the necessary documentation indicating the change in care. Doing so could help you avoid disputes about your worker’s compensation claim.

An Oshkosh worker’s compensation attorney from our firm could also provide some guidance. We have helped many injured workers obtain the care and compensation needed to make a recovery.  

Factors to Consider When Finding the Right Doctor

It is important that you consider choosing a doctor with extensive experience treating injured workers who are pursuing worker’s compensation benefits. Doctors unfamiliar with the claims process could fail to properly document treatment, which would make it harder for you obtain the benefits you need.

Otherwise, if you are seeing a primary care doctor, be sure to let him or her know that your injury is work-related. Should your doctor be unwilling or incapable of providing you with adequate care, he or she might refer you to a doctor who can.

How Sigman Janssen May Be Able to Help

If you have suffered a workplace injury, we recommend consulting with a lawyer. At Sigman Janssen, we are well-versed in worker’s compensation laws and are ready to guide you through the claims process.  

Find out the legal options available to you in a complimentary consultation. Our services are provided on a contingency-fee basis, so there are no upfront fees unless we help obtain compensation for you.

No Risk. No Obligations. (877) 888-5201.