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Selecting your physician after a maritime accident

It is always best to seek medical attention after an accident. In the case that the accident occurs while at work, you may be able to receive compensation for your injury.

Therefore, seeing a physician is key, both physically and financially. Though your employer may encourage you to see their physician, a few good reasons exist as to why you should select your own physician.

It is the law

As a maritime worker, you have the right to select your own physician under the Jones Act. It expressly indicates that an employer cannot make you see a specific physician after your accident. However, some employers may still try to force your hand by including some stipulations about your physician treatment within your employment contract. In such instances, it may be helpful to review your options with a legal professional.

Your award 

The physician's assessment plays a large part in determining your workers' compensation for your maritime accident. Not only does the doctor help determine whether your injury warrants a reward, but the doctor's evaluation determines how much you receive and for how long. 

Your best interest

The physician the company selects likely has a relationship with the company. Though this is not illegal, it can be to your detriment. The physician may seek to maintain a positive relationship with your employer by working in the best interest of the company, rather than seeking to provide you with the quality care and treatment you need. This may include misdiagnosing your condition, not running or ordering proper tests, and not allowing you to see a specialist, among other things. Such actions cannot only prevent you from receiving the care you need, but they may also increase your chances of more serious conditions.

Your health and well-being are important. Make sure you understand your options so you select the best solution.

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