Who May Request a Second Opinion in Workers’ Comp?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim may get you the coverage you need for your medical bills after a workplace injury. Going to a doctor to diagnose your injury or illness is important to establish the validity of your claim. Still, your employer or the insurance carrier may have questions about your state of health and may want another physician to evaluate you.
According to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission, it is possible for different parties involved in the workers’ compensation process to request a second opinion.
Your Employer May Want a Second Opinion
Initially, your employer or the insurance carrier of your employer will have the first decision on whether to seek a second opinion. This is not always because they doubt that you have suffered an injury. However, they might want to know whether your injury is as severe as you claim.
Either of the two parties could also want to know if your injury truly happened because of an incident at work. They will want to rule out other factors like your injury occurring before you got to work or the possibility of a preexisting condition that caused your injury or disorder.
An ALJ May Want Another Opinion
The Administrative Law Judge in your case may also have questions about your injury. It is possible your ALJ will have an independent medical examiner check your condition to resolve certain medical questions. To take one example, the ALJ may want to confirm how much medical treatment you will need for your injury and to assist in your recovery.
You May Ask for Another Doctor
If you are not satisfied with how your physician has evaluated your condition or you disagree about your treatment, state law allows you to ask for a change of your treating doctor. If your employer has contracted with a certified workplace medical plan, you must ask for a different doctor using the dispute resolution plan laid out by the plan. In the event your employer is not part of a CWMP, you would have to apply to the state Workers’ Compensation Commission for a change.
The fact that other parties may ask for a second opinion shows that Oklahoma workers may need to prove their injury through another physician. However, asking for a second opinion may work to your advantage if it confirms the severity of your injury.