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Can You Choose A Workers’ Comp Doctor In New York?

If you were the victim of a work injury, you might wonder whether you’re legally allowed to choose your doctor to treat your injuries. Every state has specific laws surrounding the right of workers’ compensation applicants to choose their doctor, and New York is no exception.

The state gives workers’ comp applicants a certain degree of freedom to work with a medical provider. However, there are a few essential guidelines you should keep in mind before selecting one. Understanding how the selection process works will help you choose a doctor that meets your needs.

Can You Legally Choose Your Doctor For Any Treatment?

Yes, you can legally choose your doctor for work-related injuries in New York. Your employer’s insurance will cover any emergency treatments, regardless of where you received medical attention.

But there are a few restrictions you should be aware of for any non-life-threatening medical treatment. You first need to speak with your employer to see if they use a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) to cover their employees’ medical care. If they do, you’ll need to seek treatment with one of their specialists within 30 days. Once the 30-day period is over or if your employer doesn’t use a PPO, you can switch doctors as long as they’re certified by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board.  

How To Find A Certified Doctor

If you want your physician to treat you, you must check the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board database and see if they have the appropriate certification. If not, there are almost 20,000 different registered providers to choose from. Regardless of who you choose, they must fill out a Doctor’s Initial Report (Form C-4) within 48 hours of your first treatment. 

Can You Choose A Doctor For Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs)?

While New York’s laws may have flexible guidelines on the provider, an insurance company can still request an independent medical examination (IME) to analyze your claim and determine if your injuries are work-related. In this situation, your employer and the insurance company will select one of their designated medical providers to conduct the examination.

Many of these examiners will try to find ways to disprove your claim or reduce the insurance company’s final payout. However, bringing a witness and recording the entire session is completely legal. Your employer’s insurance company will also need to reimburse you for any travel expenses to and from the examination site.  

We Can Help You File A Successful Claim

New York has its guidelines when choosing a doctor, but they’re relatively flexible compared to other states. Emergency treatments have no restrictions, and you’ll have access to thousands of providers that take workers’ compensation insurance and have WCB credentials if you need further treatment.

Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can also help you navigate the legal system and win the benefits you deserve. Please call us at 855-338-1207 or contact us online to schedule a free case review today.

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