One of the most important things that I tell my clients when discussing their workers’ comp cases is, “You are entitled to a second opinion on your impairment rating.” I want to make sure that my clients know that they are not stuck with their initial impairment rating. If you feel that your impairment rating is unfair then you are entitled to a second one.
Not only are you entitled to a second opinion, you are entitled to a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing. Some insurance companies may try to suggest another doctor for you to visit, but you don’t have to listen. You can find a doctor you trust and with whom you are comfortable.
In order to receive a second opinion, you will first have to get written permission from your employer. You should include the name and address of the physician you wish to see. If your employer denies your request, there is another option. In this case, you will have to appeal to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. If they feel it is fair, they will order the insurance company to grant your second opinion request.
Your workers’ compensation benefits are dependent on your impairment rating. Therefore it is important to make sure that it is accurate. Your benefits need to cover your medical expenses, and if you are injured more severely than you were initially rated, you could end up paying for your treatment out of pocket. Don’t let the insurance companies give you less than you deserve.