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Can you choose your own doctor in a workers’ compensation case?

Oct 12, 2023 |

Can you choose your own doctor in an Ohio workers’ compensation case?

The answer to this question is somewhat complex, and somewhat controversial.

Emergency situations and continuing treatment

First and most importantly, if you have just been injured and need emergency medical attention, that is your priority.

Generally, Ohio’s workers’ compensation system allows you to choose your own doctor for you first visit after a workplace injury. This can include an emergency room visit or another type of doctor’s appointment.

After that initial visit, for any follow-up appointments or continuing medical treatment, you must go to a doctor who is certified by the the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, or BWC.

Do you have to go to the doctor chosen by your employer?

Certification by the BWC is the important point. Your employer may provide you a list of its approved doctors, but you do not necessarily have to go to any of them if you don’t want to. You may go to any doctor who is certified by the BWC.

Getting a second opinion

In some cases, injured workers are unhappy with the treatment they’re receiving from their doctors. Some suspect that their doctor has misdiagnosed them, or does not take their injuries seriously,

If you are not happy with the BWC-certified doctor you’re seeing, you may seek a second opinion from another BWC-certified doctor. Before doing so, you must file a form known as a Notice to Change Physician of Record. Send it to your employer’s managed care organization.

When it works like it’s supposed to, the workers’ compensation system can provide you with the benefits you need to deal with the aftermath of your injury. Unfortunately, there can be a lot of obstacles in the way of getting all the benefits you need. It can be a good idea to seek out professional guidance.