The truth about doctors and workers' compensation in Texas

Ideally, after someone gets seriously hurt or sick on the job, it should be obvious to any doctor. In reality, the doctor who examines you after a work injury can make a big difference between being approved or rejected for workers’ compensation.

Employers and the insurance company that provides their workers’ comp coverage have their own doctors that they want injured workers to go to. It is not uncommon for a workers’ boss to pressure him or her to see a doctor the company or insurance company selected. Management sometimes goes so far as to claim the worker must do so.

This is completely false. In Texas, people with on-the-job injuries have the right to pick whatever doctor they want, unless the state Workers’ Compensation Commission says otherwise. Whether you were caught in a workplace accident, or your injury is a chronic condition that took years to develop, you deserve be examined and treated by the physician you have gone to for years, or any doctor you trust, not one on your employer’s list of approved doctors.

Someone who has never been hurt on the job before cannot be expected to be an expert on Texas’ workers’ compensation process, but it is unfortunate that some employers choose to mislead their workforce in order to avoid having to pay workers’ comp. Besides having the right to your own doctor, you can choose to have a workers’ compensation attorney to help.

Insurance companies have their own lawyers, so having an attorney communicate on your behalf can even the playing field. And your lawyer can handle your appeal, if necessary.

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