John was working in a warehouse when a heavy box fell on him, injuring his back and neck. John knew right away that he was hurt. He needed to go to a doctor. His employer told him that he MUST go to THEIR doctor and he could not choose his own doctor to treat with. John had never heard that before and met with attorney Tom Holland to uncover the truth about seeing a work doctor for the first ninety (90) days of treatment.
John wants to know if he must see a work doctor for the first 90 days of his injury.
THE LAW: PA WORKERS COMPENSATION ACT:
Sec. 306 (f.1)(1)(i)
An injured worker in Pennsylvania is free to choose their own doctor unless the employer accepts their claim and has done the following:
- A list of 6 or more physicians or health care providers MUST be posted in the workplace to choose from. If this list exists, then the injured workers must visit one of these doctors for initial treatment for 90 days. If the injured worker does not like this doctor, they can choose another on the list for the remainder of the 90 days. The employer cannot DIRECT or REQUIRE the injured worker to see a specific doctor on this list. If this list does not exist, the worker may pick their own doctor.
- The employer must provide clearly written notification of the employee’s rights and duties regarding treating with a “company” doctor and MUST have the employee sign a document acknowledging that he or she understands these rights and duties. If the employer fails to do this, then an employee may treat with a doctor of his/her choosing.
An injured worker can always see their own doctor. However, if the above conditions have been met, your bill may not get paid by the insurance carrier.
AFTER THE 90 DAYS
After the 90 days, you may treat with your own doctor, even if the above conditions have been met.
Therefore, it is important to see an attorney to make sure you are protected against the often misused and misrepresented 90-day period where employers try to mandate their employees see a “company” doctor.
At the Law Offices at Thomas More Holland we are here to help you. If you have questions concerning workplace injuries contact us at 215-592-8080. We are legal one stop shopping for you and your family.