If you suffer an injury in a workplace accident, it will set a number of dominos in motion. From incident reports to a growing concern about your health and income, you will have several hurdles to jump through to get the medical treatment you need. While you might believe you are limited in your medical choices because of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, you do have options. An important option is the ability to get a second medical opinion if you disagree with your initial prognosis or treatment. Our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm looks at getting a second medical opinion in more detail below.
Requirements for Employees Injured at the Workplace in Philadelphia
In many cases, when an employee is injured during the course of their employment, they will address any medical expenses through a combination of a workers’ compensation claim and their personal medical insurance. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, employees must seek medical treatment for the first 90 days after an injury through a healthcare professional designated by their employer. Furthermore, an employee will have to use a designated physician for any follow-up treatment. Once the 90 days have passed, an employee is entitled to seek treatment from a medical professional of their choice.
If an employee wants a second opinion or disagrees with the diagnosis of the designated doctor, they could choose to seek additional treatment out of their own pocket. This limitation could become especially frustrating if an employee believes their condition is not improving, that a doctor ignored symptoms, or if a company-designated doctor recommended returning to work before the employee feels physically capable.
What if a Philadelphia Employee Wants a Second Medical Opinion?
As stated above, an employee will generally have to pay if they want a second medical opinion regarding their workplace injury. However, there are some exceptions to this limitation. If a designated doctor recommends surgery, then an insurance provider will likely agree to a second opinion in hopes of avoiding the cost of surgery. Additionally, an insurance provider could agree to a second opinion if they believe it would result in an injured employee returning to work sooner.
Neither of the above examples considers the wishes of the injured employee. While you want to get back to work, you also want to ensure you are getting the best treatment possible and not rushing your recovery. When you are worried about both your health and livelihood, you have options.
Second Medical Opinions and Personal Injury Lawsuits for Workplace Injuries in Philadelphia
In many situations, an injured employee has more options available than they might initially believe. While Pennsylvania law generally prohibits filing a personal injury lawsuit against an employer for a workplace injury, there are times when it is not only prudent – it is the best option to protect your health and financial wellbeing.
When you seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, you are entitled to use the doctor of your choice and get a second opinion if required. An injured employee could also recover the expenses related to a second medical opinion through a lawsuit. Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys sometimes recommend a second medical opinion to ensure that the full extent of your injuries is diagnosed and to provide further evidence regarding the severity of your injuries.
Through a personal injury lawsuit, you are not only able to recover the cost of your initial medical costs, including any appointments for a second opinion, but also the expense for any future medical treatment prescribed by either doctor your saw. Medical treatment is personal, and an injured individual should have as much autonomy as possible in deciding what treatment is best for them.
A Second Medical Opinion is Important After a Philadelphia Workplace Injury
Medical treatment should never be taken lightly. The choices you make regarding your treatment after a severe injury will significantly impact your recovery and ability to return to work. In many cases, an injured employee will have competing priorities, such as recovering versus getting back to work as soon as possible to start earning their regular wages. Also, depending on an employee’s health insurance, getting a second opinion might be a financial burden they do not want to incur. Our sympathetic Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers believe that medical decisions should be based on what is best for your health.
Personal injury lawsuits arising from workplace injuries are complicated but that does not mean you should not consider the benefits of one. You do not want to compromise your health because you believe you are not entitled to a second medical opinion or cannot afford to have one. Furthermore, you should be in charge of your treatment – not an insurance provider. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can work to recover the expense of the medical care you need. You can also seek compensation for your lost income. Therefore, you might not feel the economic pressure to go back to work before you are ready to do so.
Call Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney if You Need a Second Medical Opinion for a Workplace Injury
You should never compromise when you are making a decision regarding your health. A workplace injury could adversely affect your physical wellbeing and your ability to earn a living for weeks, months, or even years. You want to have confidence in the treatment you are receiving and sometimes that means getting a second opinion. If you are worried about your ability to get one, afford one, or losing income because of your injury, contact our Pottstown personal injury lawyer immediately. Contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free consultation.