Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help injured workers provide for themselves and their families while they recover. An important part of any workers’ compensation claim is having a doctor assess a workers’ injuries, provide them with care and treatment, and dictate when an employee may return to work and whether they have any workplace restrictions.
Many workers and individuals will turn to their primary care physician when they are sick or injured. However, to receive workers’ compensation benefits, a worker may be required to go to their employer’s doctor under S.C. Code Ann. §42-15-60.
If you suffered an injury while at work and are considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact a compassionate and capable workers’ compensation attorney who is well-versed in the complicated legal process of helping injured employees recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and their disability. A dedicated attorney could also help with choosing a workers’ compensation doctor in Charleston if you are not happy with your employer’s doctor.
Getting a Doctor’s Second Opinion
Under S.C. Code Ann. §42-15-60, an employer is only required to provide coverage for medical care from a company-approved health care provider. However, this does not mean a workers’ immediate medical care following the accident will not be covered by workers’ compensation.
However, if a worker is not happy with their medical care and the doctor’s findings, they may request to see another doctor. This may be prudent in cases where an employee suffered an injury that may require surgery or has suffered from an occupational disease. If an injured worker wants a second opinion, they may request a hearing before the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission by completing Form 50.
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission will then evaluate a worker’s claim and deliver a determination as to whether a second opinion will be covered under an employer’s workers’ compensation coverage.
Can a Worker be Reimbursed for Medical Appointments?
Generally, an employer is only responsible for paying medical services rendered by an authorized medical provider. However, in an emergency and where an employer failed to provide the necessary medical care, the employer will thereafter be required to reimburse the reasonable cost of emergency medical care.
Reimbursement for Various Types of Medical Costs
In a workers’ compensation case, workers’ compensation benefits may cover various types of medical costs for all necessary medical care, which can include:
- Medical appointments
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
If a worker does not seek this care from an approved medical provider, they may be expected to pay out of pocket for these expenses. This can mean spending thousands of dollars.
A seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer could help workers with choosing a workers’ compensation doctor in Charleston that is within their employer’s network of doctors. If their employer does not have a network of trusted medical professionals, an attorney could negotiate with the employer to cover the employee’s out-of-network costs.
Contacting a Charleston Workers’ Compensation Attorney
A Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer can be a valuable resource during a workers’ compensation claim. Even before filing a claim, an attorney can provide critical guidance choosing a workers’ compensation doctor in Charleston. If you suffered an injury in the workplace, contact a Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer today.