FAQs—Choosing or Changing Your Doctor in a New York Workers’ Compensation Case

Common Questions about Your Choice of Medical Care after a Work-Related Injury

When you have been hurt, in any type of an accident, you want care from a qualified and competent professional. If you can get treatment from someone you know and trust, that’s even better. But you may be uncertain about your rights with respect to choosing or changing your medical caregiver for a work-related injury. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Q: Do I have to be examined by a doctor chosen by the workers’ compensation insurance company or my employer?

A: In the state of New York, unlike many states, an injured worker has primary control over who will be the treating physician. Accordingly, you can generally seek care from any doctor who accepts the New York workers’ compensation billing schedule. As a general rule, the workers’ compensation insurance company won’t demand that you see a specific doctor, but always reserves the right to seek a second opinion.

The workers’ compensation insurance company may, however, order an independent medical examination. The IME may only be done once and will include a review of your medical records, and may involve a physical exam. You have the right to have your IME audio or videotaped and can always have a witness present.

Q: How do I find a physician to treat my work-related injury?

A: The Workers’ Compensation Board has an online searchable provider database. If you have a primary care physician, you can contact that office and ask if they accept workers’ compensation payments. If they do, you can choose them for your treatment. However, your treating physician must complete and file a “Doctor’s Initial Report—Form C-4” within 48 hours of your first treatment or payment may be rejected.

 Q: Can I change my treating physician?  

A: Yes. If your workers’ compensation insurance company has a preferred provider organization (PPO), you must be treated by someone in that network for the first 30 days after your injury. After that time, you can change doctors whenever you wish, provided your new physician is authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board.

Proven Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Queens, New York

At Pyrros & Serres, we bring more than a half a century of combined workers’ compensation experience to injured workers throughout Queens and the greater New York City area. We place a premium on personal service and attention, taking the time to learn what happened, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. We get many of our new cases as referrals from doctors, lawyers and satisfied clients.

We take all types of work-related injury claims, including cases involving:

Occupational Disease or Illness | Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Fractures | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury| Burns | Paralysis | Spinal Cord Injury | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Hearing or Vision Loss | Back and Neck Injury | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Accidental or Wrongful Death

To learn more about the services we provide, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York