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From auto accidents to defective product injuries to workers’ compensation claims, we’re here to help Louisiana injury victims.
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Dudley DeBosier has a trusted team of personal injury lawyers who have been helping injured people in Louisiana.
March 20th, 2020
All doctors have a responsibility to be honest and treat
their patients to their best ability, and some are better than others. However,
your company incentivizes you to pick company-provided doctors who are less
likely to address the severity of your condition and look out for your best
It can be tempting to choose a company doctor, but keep in
mind how vitally important your initial doctor is. In order to receive
compensation at all, you’ll need an initial medical diagnosis. After your
treating doctor diagnoses your condition, they direct all of your medical care
(whether you need physical therapy or medications, for example), refer you to
other specialists, decide your work restrictions, determine your level of
permanent disability, and provide evidence for your case. All their decisions
directly affect your recovery and benefits.
The rules for choosing your treating doctor vary from state
to state, but under Louisiana workers’ compensation law, you’re entitled to
choose your own physician: one per field or specialty.
However, no matter whether you take a company doctor or your
own, you’re also required to have an examination by a physician whom the
employer and workers’ comp insurance company provide and pay for. This
examination is called a Second Medical Opinion (SMO) — and if you refuse it,
your lost wage payments may be suspended temporarily. It’s important to note
the SMO doctor does not treat you; it’s a one-time, short evaluation to give
insurance companies a potential basis for denying benefits.
That’s why choosing your initial treating doctor is so
important. Make sure you consider their level of experience and skill, area of
specialization, and familiarity with your type of injury. You may want to ask
about their understanding of workers’ comp claims; it may indicate their willingness
to advocate on your behalf and accept your workers’ comp medical fee schedule.
Their availability for appointments and proximity from your home are also fair
considerations when choosing your treating doctor.
If you’re in pain and need legal help to navigate this
complicated journey, don’t feel pressured to continue alone. Dudley DeBosier’s
team of legal experts have helped many people like you get through this
difficult time, and with our No Fee Guarantee, you’ll never pay us unless we
get you money.