One Time Change of Doctor with Workers Compensation

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Veteran attorneys, Wade Coye and Dan Smith from the Coye Law Firm, discuss how the one-time change of doctor under workers compensation functions and the common misconceptions and mistakes that come with it.

Visit us at www.coyelaw.com or call 866-WADE-COYE.

Transcript:

Wade:
We've seen a few situations where, I guess, with all due respect to some of the claims adjusters, they've played some dirty tricks, and one of them that I know that's particularly galled people in in our office in and some of the other workers compensation lawyers around the state is where someone moves and then the adjuster says, "Oh we're going to give you a one-time change of a new doctor."
Let's talk about that a little bit, about why it's not. That's not a one-time change.

Dan:
Yeah and the law says they get an authorized doctor regardless. So if you move, I suppose the carriers could say that your old doctor was still authorized, but then they'd have to provide your transportation. So if they want to fly you back from North Carolina to Florida every week then they'd have to do that, but when you move out of state that's not a one-time change of doctor. They have to provide you with a doctor.

Wade:
Or even if you move to a different part of the state as well. They need to give you a new doctor. They need to keep an authorized doctor.

Dan:
Absolutely. So what carriers will do, particularly the people that they think they can take advantage of, and by carrier I mean, insurance companies, is sometimes, not all of them, but sometimes they'll say, "Well, what we're going to do is, you're moving, so we're gonna give you that one time change you have." Well you don't need to use a one-time change. You're moving. You automatically get that right. And so you should still be able to keep that one-time change right in your pocket and use that at a later time.

Wade:
And we tend to use the one time change as an opportunity to get a fresh opinion from someone when maybe you're not really happy with the course of treatment that you're having

Dan:
Yeah, absolutely. It's probably one of the more frustrating things is if we get somebody who's, I don't want to use the word "tricked", but they've usually been tricked into using that one time change too early.

Wade:
Or at the very least maybe the adjuster wasn't fully appraised of the law himself.

Dan:
And that may be.

Wade:
But they do seem to be very well appraised in when you ask for another doctor because then they say well you've already used your one-time change.

Dan:
Well, they seem to have no problem telling us that.

Wade:
So we'll give them the benefit of the doubt by saying perhaps they're not as familiar with the law as what they should be, but in the end, it's not really fair to someone who's been hurt when really it should be about trying to get them well and get them some medical care and treatment.

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