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Your Doctor’s Role in Your Virginia Workers’ Comp Claim

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Your Doctor’s Role in Your Virginia Workers’ Comp Claim

Your Doctor’s Role in Your Virginia Workers’ Comp Claim

By Jan Hoen

Evidence is crucial when you apply for workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia, and one of the key sources to support your claim is your healthcare provider. Your treating physician is critical for the number one priority, which is getting you the care you need to return to your job. However, your doctor is essential for getting approval from your employer’s worker’s comp insurance company. 

It is understandable that you have questions about your doctor’s role in your Virginia workers’ comp claim since it would seem that a physician’s focus is health care. A Virginia workers’ compensation attorney can explain the details, but some answers may shed some light on the subject.

Why is a Treating Physician Important?

Documentation carries significant weight in getting approval for your workers’ comp claim. For every visit, your physician is generating essential paperwork in the form of your medical records, such as:

  • Details regarding diagnosis of your medical condition;
  • Information related to your treatment, including what has worked and strategies to consider in the future;
  • Comments and notes on your physical limitations;
  • Determining any work restrictions, such as time off and when you can return to work;
  • Statements regarding your prognosis and likelihood of recovery; and,
  • Many other details.

Can I Choose My Treating Physician in a Workers’ Comp Claim?

Under Virginia’s statute on worker’s comp, your employer must provide you with a panel of at least three doctors from whom you can seek treatment. They must be independent physicians who are not affiliated as part of the same practice, and any violation of this rule leads the panel to be defective. In such a situation, you may be entitled to choose your own physician for treatment of your work-related injuries. However, you should note that you will be on the hook for any medical bills if you make an error in getting treatment from doctors outside the panel.

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Doctor From the Panel?

Your attorney can assist when you are reviewing relevant factors, but some criteria to consider when selecting a treating physician include:

  • Skill and Credentials: With some work-related injuries, it may make sense to work with a physician who focuses on specific specialty areas.
  • Cooperation: It is important that a doctor is willing to communicate and coordinate with your workers’ comp lawyer to ensure the best results.
  • Independence: Some physicians are only independent on paper, while being more supportive of the insurance company behind the scenes. You should be working with a doctor who cares about assisting with your recovery and supporting you in your claim for benefits.

Get in Touch with a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Right Away

While your doctor is your top resource for medical issues, your workers’ comp attorney is a critical ally when it comes to getting benefits. If you have additional questions regarding the claims process and Virginia’s workers’ compensation system, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC today to schedule a no-cost case evaluation. A Virginia workers’ compensation attorney can provide more information after reviewing the details of your case.

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