Medical Benefits for Work Injuries in Georgia
If you are hurt at work, you are entitled to medical benefits in Georgia. We know that when you are hurt at work you want to focus on one thing…getting better. Sustaining a work injury, especially when it causes you to be off work, can be very stressful. Gearhart Law Group is here to help guide you through the process. This is a very brief overview of medical benefits you may be entitled to if you are injured at work.
If the insurance company accepts your claim or deems it “compensable” you are entitled to all reasonable and necessary treatment per the statute. Reasonable and necessary is the key. Oftentimes this is where the parties are at odds. One party may deem surgery reasonable and necessary while the insurance company does not. In addition, the employer and insurance company are allowed to maintain some control over medical care if the claim is accepted as compensable. The employer should have what is known as a Panel of Physicians posted and explained to you. This Panel consists of at least six providers and you are entitled to choose from the Panel which doctor you would like to see. You are permitted one change of physician off of the Panel. If the employer does not have a valid Panel of Physicians, you are entitled to treat with a doctor of your choosing. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your attorney before seeking treatment with a new doctor. If the insurer isn’t going to pay for it, this can be quite costly and really complicate your claim.
Independent Medical Exam
Again, the gray area is determining what is “reasonable and necessary.” If a doctor suggests surgery, the insurer will likely send you for an IME or “Independent Medical Examination” for another opinion. They need to give you 10 days notice and provide you with prepaid mileage if an IME is scheduled. Always attend an IME. Failure to attend or cancellation of an IME can be detrimental to your case as the insurance company will argue that you are “uncooperative.”
Call Beth Gearhart
If you any questions or need legal advice, please contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Georgia like Beth Gearhart who listens and cares about her clients.