The doctor overseeing your medical care decides what medication you take and what procedures you undergo. They can also recommend accommodations to help you return to work. Their opinion is crucial during your treatment and recovery.
When you are a patient seeing your own physician, you will likely feel empowered to tell them when you disagree with their recommended treatment plan and to seek another option. When you see a doctor through workers’ compensation, you may feel like you have fewer options.
Do you have the right to request a second opinion or alternative treatments when you have a workers’ compensation claim?
California allows you to request another opinion
California’s workers’ compensation program has numerous rules that benefit those with a serious injury or work-acquired medical issue. In some states, only those facing a recommendation for surgery can count on workers’ compensation to cover the cost of a second opinion. However, California is more generous with injured workers.
Provided that the physician they see is within the appropriate network, a worker who disagrees with the treatment plan or a diagnosis has the right to a second opinion and possibly even a third. Workers’ compensation will cover those appointments, and the worker will then have the option of pursuing the treatment plan they believe would be best.
When you worry that one physician does not properly listen to you as you describe your symptoms or when you think there may be alternative treatment options that are less invasive than the current treatment plan, it helps to know your rights. Learning more about workers’ compensation rules in California will help those worried about a recent job injury.