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The ins and outs of seeking care after a workplace accident

Let's say you are injured on the job. The first thing you do, and rightfully so, is see a doctor. Now, however, you want to file for workers' compensation.

Medical care can be expensive, so you may be wondering whether you or your employer will have to pick up the tab. You may also be unsure of what kind of treatment you can get going forward. Do you have to see someone who your employer approves of, or do you get to choose your doctor?

You can choose your doctor - to an extent

Under Louisiana law, you are allowed to see any doctor you want after being injured at work. Your employer will be required to pay for care worth up to $750 at any provider. Beyond that, however, your doctor must be approved by your employer. 

There is an exception to this rule if you required emergency treatment after being injured. In that case, your employer would be responsible for all expenses incurred, even if they exceed $750.

In some situations, your employer may require you to undergo an examination by a doctor of its choosing. In most cases, you must agree to this or you risk losing your workers' compensation benefits.

Are you allowed to change doctors?

You are allowed to see different doctors throughout the course of your treatment, but you may need approval from your employer. If you want to see a different doctor who works within the same specialty as your current doctor, your employer needs to sign off on it. If you need to see someone who specializes in a different area of medicine, however, you do not need approval.

Have more questions?

If you have more questions about seeking medical care while applying for workers' compensation, your HR department should be able to give you straightforward answers. However, it may also be wise to speak with an attorney. A workers' compensation lawyer can help you adhere to state laws while also protecting your rights throughout the process.

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