A workplace injury can range from mildly inconvenient to potentially life-threatening, depending on how quickly you are able to receive medical care. The injury should be reported to your supervisor as soon as possible. Report the incident in writing if you can. Filing a proper report is an essential first step toward receiving compensation benefits from your company. FECA has ruled that an injured worker can select any qualified doctor for treatment.
If your work does not bring you under FECA’s jurisdiction, the state law will apply. Under state law, the company will assign a doctor to your case and pay for the treatment for a month. After that time, the employee is free to seek another doctor’s advice. Once the doctor has examined the worker’s injury, a report is submitted outlining the treatment needed and its cost. The company may then choose to get a second opinion if the doctor does not have a board certification, or if the company has reason to believe that the original diagnosis was wrong. Once the second opinion is obtained and has satisfied the company, treatment can move forward with the company footing the bill.
On the other hand, if the second opinion contradicts the first, a third physician’s help may be sought to determine the truth of the matter. As the injured party, you have the right to appeal any of the doctors’ diagnoses. Sometimes, the company may place pressure on a doctor to minimize the worker’s injury to avoid paying too much for the treatment. If at any point you suspect that you are not getting the treatment you deserve, you may want to hire a lawyer to fight your case for you.