If I’m on workers’ compensation disability in Georgia, am I required to see the panel doctor?

If you’re injured on the job in Georgia, your employer should direct you to a workers’ comp panel of physicians immediately after reporting a workplace injury and in accordance with the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. You must  pick from this list if it is valid.

What is the workers’ comp panel of physicians?

The panel of physicians contains six doctors or medical facilities from which an injured employee can choose a treating doctor. Employers in Georgia must display or “post” this list at its work site or office for your reference if you are injured on the job. If the panel is appropriately posted, you must go to one of these company approved providers for your care. One of these doctors will supervise your treatment and be your liaison with any other approved providers. Our experienced workers’ comp lawyers can help you pick the right workers’ compensation doctor from your employer’s panel of physicians.

What should I do if I’m hurt at work?

If your injury is severe, you should report to an emergency room and notify your supervisor as soon afterward as you are able to do so. If your injury is not severe, your employer will refer you to their  workers’ comp panel of physicians. Be sure to check out this short (but important!) list of things Georgia employees should do if injured on the job.

Can I change my workers’ comp doctor?

If you have a Georgia workers’ compensation claim, you need to attend the medical appointments scheduled with the doctor from the panel of physicians. However, if your condition is not improving or you don’t feel you’re getting the level of medical care you need, you may be able to change doctors or get a second opinion.  O.C.G.A. §34-9-201(b)(1) provides that, after the initial selection of your treating doctor, “The employee may make one change from one physician to another on the same panel without prior authorization of the board.”

Can workers’ comp force you to see their doctor?

If you’re receiving temporary total disability benefits (TTD) for your Georgia workers’ compensation claim, you need to attend the medical appointments scheduled with the doctor from the panel of physicians, or the agreed-upon authorized treating doctor. Otherwise, the workers’ comp insurance company may request that your disability benefits be suspended for failure to cooperate with medical treatment.

More than likely, they will file a motion to compel your attendance at the doctor appointments (or file a Petition for Medical Treatment), and then they will pursue suspension of TTD benefits. If getting to the doctor is a concern, you can request transportation to and from the treating doctor’s office (or mileage reimbursement if you drive yourself).

Get help from our workers’ compensation lawyers

If you’re concerned about the quality of medical care that you’re receiving for your workplace injury from the workers’ comp panel of physicians medical provider, contact our law offices to speak to a knowledgeable Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer at 404-354-5432.

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