This post discusses an injured worker’s right to a 2nd medical opinion. If you are receiving medical treatment for job related accident injuries continue reading to find out how to receive all the medical treatment you are entitled to.
Who gets to control your medical treatment as the injured worker?
NC Workers’ Compensation Law has changed regarding the employer’s right to direct an injured worker’s medical treatment. Prior to 2011, an employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company provided and directed an injured worker’s medical treatment subject to any orders by the Commission. However, an injured worker could select a physician of his/her own choosing to manage his/her own care, subject to the Commission’s approval, if he/she so desired. NC workers’ compensation law changed after June 14, 2011. Now the law requires that:
“in order for the Commission to grant an employee’s request to change treatment or health care provider, the employee must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the change is necessary to effect a cure, provide relief, or lessen the period of disability” N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-25.
This change in the law means an injured worker must now provide proof for the reason he/she wants to change their treating physician in a workers’ compensation case rather than simply making a request to change treating physcians.
Injured worker’s right to a 2nd Medical Opinion
The change in NC Workers’ Compensation law has also provided clarification when it comes to an injured worker’s right to a 2nd Medical Opinion. NC Workers’ Compensation law has always permitted an injured worker to obtain a 2nd opinion regarding appropriate medical care, such as recommended surgery or course of treatment.
The law is now clear on how an injured worker is to get a 2nd opinion. NC Workers’ Compensation law states that if an injured worker desires a second opinion with a physician of his/her own choice, the injured worker may make the request in writing to the employer. The employer has 14 days to agree to the injured worker’s written request. If the employer does not agree to the injured workers’ written request for a second opinion, then the injured worker may request the Commission to order a second opinion. The employer must pay for the expense of the requested second opinion. N.C. Gen. §Stat. 97-25.
Medical Treatment issues often arise in NC Workers’ Compensation cases. If you find yourself wondering what to do about appropriate medical treatment for your on the job injury, you should speak with a NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer. Call The Bishop Law Firm today at (919) 615-3095.