As workers’ compensation attorneys, we get asked a lot of questions every day. One of the questions we hear most frequently is, “When should I get a second opinion on my medical treatment?” We love getting these questions because it shows that our clients and potential clients are engaged in their cases and are working to understand the workers’ comp process.
What is a second opinion?
A second opinion is when you have an expert review your case and give his or her professional opinion about what happened to you at work. This can be done by another doctor, nurse practitioner, chiropractor, physical therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.
The purpose of this type of evaluation is to help you make sure that your treatment plan is being implemented correctly. If there is any doubt as to whether your treatment is effective, then it makes sense to seek out additional opinions. A second opinion may also be helpful if you are not satisfied with the care you received from your primary physician.
How do you get a second opinion?
When it comes to workers’ comp claims, there are a couple of ways to obtain a second opinion evaluation.
Ask the defendant (your employer/insurance carrier) to provide one
Request the Industrial Commission to order a second opinion
Generally, you would ask the defendant before seeking help from the Industrial Commission; however, it’s always a good idea to follow the advice of your attorney when it comes to what’s best for your case.
When should you get a second opinion?
As for when you should ask for a second opinion — it’s going to depend on your case. Typically, unless there is a dispute about the medical treatment, it’s probably best to wait until the end of your treatment. This is because you can get the most bang for your buck since the second opinion doctor can review all of your treatment.
Of course, if there is a dispute about your treatment, you should seek a second opinion when the problem arises. That way the dispute can be resolved as quickly as possible, and you can be properly evaluated, treated, and compensated. Your attorney should be able to help you through a situation like this.
What happens after you get a second opinion?
Once you receive a second opinion, you will need to decide how you want to proceed. You could choose to accept the second opinion, reject it, or request further information from the doctor. In some situations, you might even want to take legal action against the insurance company or employer who provided the first opinion. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to accept a second opinion. However, if you do, you will likely be entitled to more money than if you had gone ahead without a second opinion.
If you choose to reject the second opinion, you will still be responsible for paying for the cost of the second opinion. Also, if you go forward with the claim, you will need to show that you followed up with the second opinion. So, if you rejected the second opinion, you must prove that you did so in order to keep your benefits.
If you choose to pursue a lawsuit against the insurance company or your employer, you will need to hire an experienced lawyer. An attorney will be able to guide you through the process and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.