July 19, 2019

Company Doctor Will Not Help Me – Is There Anything I Can Do?

My question is that, I’ve been out hurt for a year and 3 months with a crushed heel. I’ve seen 2 workers comp doctors and just saw a independent doctor. The independent doctor said that he could heal me,and do surgery but the workers comp doctor disputes his opinion. Now the insurance company says that their not going to let me see him nor pay for the surgery. If the workers comp doctor would have x-rayed my foot he would’ve saw that its still broke but he hasn’t x-rayed it in 6months or hasn’t seen me in 3 months and refuses to give me anything for pain. Isn’t that refusing me treatment? Please give me some advise???
-John

Jodi Ginsberg responds: John, thanks for your question. I am going to assume that you are not yet represented. If you are, you should speak with your lawyer to discuss the reasons for the denial and what you can do about it.

There are a number of approaches I would consider in your case. First, I would evaluate whether you have a good argument to ask for a change in your authorized treating physician. If you are not getting better and the independent medical exam doctor states that surgery is indicated, I think that the State Board would consider a request for change in treating physician. The law provides for such a change if the current doctor demonstrates a “failure to effect a cure or give relief.”

I would also discuss with you whether you might consider a settlement of your claim. Sometimes, when there is uncertainty in a claim (differing opinions by the doctors), you have an opportunity to maximize your settlement dollars since the insurance company faces an unknown risk in future surgeries and wage benefits. Settlement would only be appropriate if you feel comfortable that you could pursue medical treatment on your own and are prepared to assume that risk.

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Jodi Ginsberg

Attorney Jodi Ginsberg represents employees who are injured on the job and who need medical care and missed wage benefits available under Georgia's workers' compensation laws.

Comments

  1. got hurt on my job and had to have surgery on my knee . Disiability rated by the doctor was 53% to lower left knee. Airline gave me my money for that but in payment for 2years and 8 months . Was able to go back to work but got hurt again with same knee while flying. Now receivng disability check until my company takes responsible for my injury again. But Great West held out almost 5 thousand dollars because they said my rated at 53% was consider worker comp money. How can this be. when i went back to work i was receiving my work check and this 53% rated check .

  2. Injured worker says

    This is in response to Oct 27, 2006 comment and your response to the claimant..

    First, the law does allow one free change of physicians . However, most claimants don’t know of this! And the board commonly denies this right to a free change.

    Second, I would not consider settlement at this point , I would recommend discovering the full extent of there injury first.. Because , of course one would like to know clearly what needs to be done to cure or give relief to the injury.
    The employee has an injury that was over looked by his authorized treating physician , Of course that’s there job !! Is this a violation of the Hippocratic Oath ! Of Course ! But don’t ask an WC Lawyer or the Medical board because they are just a bunch of Doctors protecting Doctors!

    It looks like the claimant has used there one IME . So what happens next. The defense will probably send him to another doctor (HIRED GUN) for an IME of there own to counteract his IME.. Results normally from Defenses IME !! Absolutely positively nothing wrong with you whatsoever, no need for any further treatment or testing etc etc. And yes the Board will Historically the Hired guns opinion ! Why because most of the judges come from a defense background and they bring those biases with them..

    The token Minority judges are former claimant lawyers. But don’t think for one minute that a token Minority judge is fair.. He/she must practice the same institutional racist practices as his/her European colleagues or he/she would not be appointed to be a Judge !

    It’s all a game !! Don’t you get it! Remember we are still working under the good ole boy system in georgia..

    However, I still believe David will beat Goliath one day!

  3. kearn gibson says

    when trying to settle a castatrophic injury case do you use the worker compensation calcultors table to get your settlement amount

  4. on the05/17/08 i hurt ny knee while at work, i went to the urgent care two different times, then wc sent me to a specialsit, he did the mri and decided i needed surgery, then wks of theraphy , now my knee is still not well. may need a nother surgery, doctor says he sent me to therapy to soon, now he just wants me sittin down all the time. my lawyer says the company wants to settle, i feel as if my lawyer is pushin me to settle when i know my knee is not well.what should i do

  5. I need help getting medical attention. I have a lawyer and he’s not doing anything. He told me he doesn’t get involved until there’s nothing more the work comp. doctors can do. I still have yet to be treated for my injuries. My back, knee, shoulder, and neck hurt. The only thing the doctors wanted to give me was pain medicine. They have tired to keep me in the dark as to what degree my injuries are. I do have mri’s but the doctor said it’s a spring 7mo’s ago and here I’am 8mo’s later and my back hurts and I’m having to try to find help out of my own pocket. But the work comp. doc. now wants me to get and epidural. But he won’t sit down with me to go over details of the nature of my injuries.

  6. It seems odd that your lawyer does not want to get involved “until there’s nothing more that the workers’ comp. doctor can do.” If you are unhappy with your medical care, you and your lawyer have several options, including filing for a change in treating physician or using the claimant’s IME. You may want to sit down with your lawyer and make sure that there is no communication issue.

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