At Hanning & Sacchetto, LLP, our Whittier workers’ compensation attorneys know that seeking medical care immediately after a California workplace injury is paramount to a worker’s physical recovery. It also helps ensure their workplace injury is documented correctly so they can pursue the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to while they recover.

That begins with being entitled to reasonable medical treatment to cure or relieve work-related injuries and illnesses. The doctors who treat you must follow treatment guidelines referred to as the medical treatment utilization schedule (MTUS). The bigger question is whether you can choose your own doctor after a workers’ compensation accident. We have answers.

Workers’ Compensation

Does My California Employer Get to Pick My Physician After I Have Been Hurt at Work?

In California, whether you can choose your own doctor for treatment after a workers’ compensation accident depends on several factors.

They include:

  • Pre-Designated Physician: If you have pre-designated your personal physician or medical group in writing before the injury occurs, you can choose to see that doctor. The pre-designation must be done by notifying your employer in writing, and the physician must have previously agreed to be pre-designated. Only the treatment that meets the MTUS guidelines will be approved.
  • Employer’s Medical Provider Network (MPN): If your employer has a Medical Provider Network (MPN), you are generally required to choose a doctor within that network for your initial treatment. After the first 30 days, if you are dissatisfied with your treatment, you can switch to another doctor within the MPN.
  • HMO Membership: If you are a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) member and have pre-designated your personal physician within the HMO, you can be treated by your HMO doctor immediately following an injury.
  • No Pre-Designation or MPN: If you have not pre-designated a physician and your employer does not have an MPN, you may have more freedom to choose your own doctor after the initial medical treatment provided by the employer.
  • Requesting a Change: If you are not satisfied with the care you are receiving, you can request a change of physician within the MPN or, in some cases, outside of the network if you have valid reasons and follow the proper procedures.

Navigating the rules surrounding selecting a doctor can be complex. We can help you understand your legal rights and employment obligations to ensure your workers’ compensation benefits cover your complete treatment needs.

Contact Our Attorneys for a Free Consultation Today

If you have been injured at work in California and face obstacles to obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to, call (562) 698-6446 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys in Whittier today.