When injured on the job, an employee must know where to turn for medical care. Under Georgia worker’s compensation laws, an employer may have the ability to control where an injured employee receives medical treatment.
In order for an employer to control the employee’s treatment, the employer must properly post a panel of approved physicians. The employer must also give the employee information on what the panel is and how it affects medical treatment. If given a properly posted panel and informed of its purpose, an employee may choose one doctor from the list of physicians.
The treating physician may refer the employee for specialized treatment as needed. Additionally, an employee can change his or her treating physician to another listed on the panel one time without the approval of the employer or the State Board of Worker’s Compensation. An employee also has the right to an independent medical evaluation, which allows for a second opinion by any qualified physician.
An injured employer should consult with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney when questions arise about obtaining medical care. It is paramount that an injured employee gets treatment from a qualified doctor.