Selecting a Physician for Your Workers’ Compensation Cases

by Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP
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The physician chosen by an employer or its insurance career to handle an injured worker’s care can make or break a worker’s compensation case. Therefore, it is important when you’re selecting your preferred facility or physician that you chose one that is reputable within the medical community.

Check Credentials

If you’re questioning whether the physician is reputable, it is best to look at the Licensee Search page of the North Carolina Medical Board website.  There you can check the physician’s credentials and see whether any complaints have been lodged against the physician in the past.

Ask Some Basic Questions

After reviewing the physician’s credentials, it’s good to ask a few practical questions:

(1) Does the facility or physician quickly provide work status notes so that the employer can determine whether they can accommodate work restrictions?

(2) Does the facility or physician provide the medical note itself quickly to the employer so that the employer can review additional treatment recommendations as expeditiously as possible?

(3) Will the facility or physician examine whether the injured worker’s complaints are consistent with the reported mechanism of injury?  Do they instead accept complaints at face value?

(4) Will the facility or physician provide a definitive diagnosis within a reasonable time frame?

(5) Will the facility or physician provide only necessary and appropriate medical care?

(6) Will the facility or physician place an injured worker at maximum medical improvement within a reasonable time frame?

(7) Will the facility or physician address any applicable permanency rating(s) as well?

Check the Physician’s Reputation with the Industrial Commission

Finally, you will also want to consider whether the physician or facility has routinely been discredited by the Commission. The best way to look into this is to contact your attorney. He or she can look at the Commission’s website and examine past decisions to assess whether the credibility of the physician has been questioned by the Industrial Commission in the past.       

Of course if you assess each of these items in chosing your facility or physician, there’s no guarantee you will win your case. But by doing so, your case should be on the best possible path for a quicker and more palatable conclusion.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP | Attorney Advertising

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