Getting hurt on the job can leave you feeling powerless, which is why it’s important to make decisions during a workers’ compensation claim that empower you and give you a sense of control over your life. The worse your injuries are, the more medical care you will likely require and the more time off of work will be necessary.

When seeking an initial medical evaluation and going through treatment, it’s important to have a good relationship with the physician managing your care. A strong working relationship with your doctor will make it easier for you to follow through with their recommendations and communicate effectively about your symptoms and recovery.

It can be hard to develop an instant rapport with a new person, especially a doctor in charge of your care. Do you have the right to select your own doctor to manage your care during treatment related to a workers’ compensation claim?

In some situations, the patient has the right to make the choice

Depending on your employer’s policies and the insurance companies that they use for workers’ compensation and general health insurance, you may have the right to choose. When the insurance company approves your claim, the company might appoint physicians that they approve for workers’ compensation care.

However, that doesn’t mean that you are completely without a say if you need workers’ compensation medical coverage. You also have the option of filing a predesignation form listing your physician of preference.

If your employer offers group health insurance or cooperates with a specific health care organization or medical provider network, you can select a physician who participates in the plan or works for an approved organization. You have to submit a written request to predesignate the physician of your choice, and the doctor you choose should be your primary care physician.

Knowing your rights makes it easier to get the benefits that you need

Navigating a bureaucratic system like workers’ compensation is difficult at the best of times, and trying to manage it while also recovering from a serious work-related injury can seem impossible.

Educating yourself about your rights and getting the help that you need during this delicate time can make the difference between a successful claim and a full recovery, or denied benefits and difficulty adjusting to life after your injury.