Can I choose my own doctor if I’m injured on the job?

You may have a good relationship with your primary care physician. You trust your doctor to treat your illnesses and injuries with due care. However, are you allowed to see your primary care physician or another physician of your choosing if you are injured on-the-job?

Who can treat my on-the-job injury?

In Pennsylvania, you can decide which doctor you will see if you are injured on the job unless your employer has accepted your workers’ compensation claim and has posted in your workplace a list of at least six doctors you may see for a workplace injury.

You must see one of these physicians for your initial treatment and any continuing treatment for 90 days. You have the choice of any of the six or more physicians listed — your employer cannot choose for you.

If you must have invasive surgery, you can seek a second opinion. This medical visit will be paid for by your employer. Treatment resulting from this second opinion, however, must be provided by one of the six or more physicians listed in your workplace for up to 90 days.

After the 90 days

If the 90 days has passed or if your employer has not posted list of physicians that you may see following a workplace injury, you can see any doctor of your choosing. If so, you must give your employer notice that you are seeing this provider for your on-the-job injury. Your employer’s insurance carrier has the right to receive reports each month from your health care provider regarding your treatment.

Once you begin receiving workers’ comp, your employer’s insurer can request that you see a physician of their choosing for an examination. If you do not attend this appointment your workers’ compensation benefits may be suspended.

Ultimately, it is likely that, at least for a time, you will have to choose your physician from a list provided by your employer if you suffer a workplace injury. However, by doing so you have taken a big step in obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits you need to help you out financially while you are injured and unable to work.