I was hurt at work and the company doctor is not helping. What are my rights?
First, you have a right to a choice of physician if you have not already made one, unless you treated with the company choice for more than 6 months or had a surgery. Miss. Code Ann. § 71-3-15 requires an employer to furnish any and all medical treatment necessary for recovery of the work related injury. As the injured employee, you have the right to accept the services of a doctor recommended by your employer; or you may exercise your right to select a competent doctor of your choice.
The workers’ compensation carrier can force you to go to the doctor of their choice for a one time evaluation, but not to treat-just to be evaluated for temporary or permanent disability. The carrier can also have a doctor evaluate the medical treatment being rendered. This type of examination is referred to as an employer medical examination or “EME”.
However, you can also ask the Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Commission to have you examined by a doctor independent of both you and the employer. This independent medical examination or “IME” is usually ordered when the commission has the opinion that a doctor has not correctly estimated the degree of permanent disability or the extent of the temporary disability of an injured employee. When you have been steered around by a company who didn’t tell you that you had a choice, and when you failed to take action until it was too late, this may be your only saving grace to get a legitimate and fair opinion from a doctor.
If you or a loved one has suffered a work place injury and has a question about rights to medical treatment, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
Candace G. Mayberry