Accidents happen. Injuries happen. Your employer chooses your doctor should never happen. This is especially true if you or a loved one has been injured in a work-related accident.
Your employer will do whatever they can to protect themselves and save money. They may suggest, demand, or even threaten you to see a doctor they choose. Don’t be intimidated. The reason they want you to use their doctor is so they can destroy the personal injury case you have against them.
Do not allow your employer’s physician to examine you. Not off the job site, and never on the job site. No matter how quickly they promise to “check you out,” or how caring they seem, the findings of these company agents will be used against you.
If you want to go to a hospital or emergency room- GO! It is illegal for your employer to prevent you from going to the hospital or doctor of your choice.
Pursuant to The Employers’ Handbook to Workers’ Compensation in New York State, “Employers may not direct their employees to a particular health care provider,” (p. 82).
Often, employer selected doctors are NOT actual doctors. These “doctors” will change what you say or tell them in official records. They purposely misrepresent how your accident occurred and then go on to minimize the nature and extent of your injuries. Despite you being seriously injured, they will usually clear you to return to light duty. They know full well that there is no light duty. Once you go back, sooner or later they will terminate you for not being able to do your job. Once that happens, you will only be able to collect unemployment benefits and lose out on all of the workers’ compensation benefits. You can lose a lifetime of payments for lost earnings, and all of the medical benefits you will need.
Bottom line: When you go to the employer’s doctor, YOU LOSE.
Choose your doctor. Go to your doctor. It’s that simple.
Many injuries take time to manifest. Symptoms may appear in a few days, others in a few months, and others can go unnoticed for years. But if an employer can get it in writing that an employee admitted to, say, complaints of back pain only the day of a fall, they will use this as evidence to discredit any future claims relating to neck pain or any other body part you injured in that fall.
Suffering any kind of injury is hard. It can mean losing basic freedoms like changing a shirt or walking to the mailbox. But no injured employee should lose the money and benefits they are entitled to. Don’t let this happen. Protect yourself and your family and never use your employer’s doctor.
Editor’s Note: For more than three and a half decades, Steven Schwartzapfel has been handling complex construction accident cases and representing unions members. As the founder of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., his skill, experience, and expertise have enabled him to recover hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of his clients. He is one of few attorneys who has served both as President-Elect of New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. As a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 and America’s Top 100 Attorneys, Steven and Schwartzapfel Lawyers consistently deliver among the highest verdicts and settlements in New York State. Get in contact with Schwartzapfel Lawyers at www.FIGHTINGFORYOU.com, or call 1-800-966-4999.