Should I go to the company doctor when I'm injured on the job?

What happens when you see a company doctor for workers' compIf your employer is among the growing number of companies across the country that provides access to medical care in the workplace, you may be grateful for the convenience. But if you're injured at work, you may wonder if you have to see the company doctor.

Depending on your employer’s policies, you may have to report your injury to the on-site medical clinic.


However, if your injury is severe enough to warrant a workers’ compensation claim, understand that you have the right to choose the doctor you want to treat your illness or injury, as long as the doctor is certified by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).

Potential Problems With Company Doctors

Workplace medical clinics, such as Amazon’s Amcare clinics, may be offered as a perk for employees, but workers should recognize the potential for a conflict of interest. Because company doctors and nurses are paid by your employer, their loyalty may be to it, rather than to you as their patient.

When an insurance or workers’ compensation claim is a possibility, the onsite doctor may feel pressured to save the company money by downplaying your injury, so you don’t file a claim. While the onsite clinic may be an excellent option for easy and convenient first aid for a minor injury, see an outside doctor for anything more serious.

Getting the Best Care for Your Workplace Injury

If you're injured at work, you're free to go to the emergency room or your personal doctor for the initial medical evaluation. However, after that, you're required to choose a BWC-certified doctor for treatment. The company doctor may be BWC-certified, but your employer can't require you to get your treatment there—and you would be smart to look for a healthcare professional who doesn't work for your employer.

Under Ohio workers’ comp law, you're entitled to do the following to get the best possible care for your illness or injury:

  • Get a second opinion. To confirm the diagnosis and treatment plan provided by the first doctor, you can always seek a second opinion from another BWC-certified doctor.
  • Switch doctors. If you don’t connect with the first doctor you choose or are unhappy with the level of care you are receiving, you can change to another BWC-certified physician—but you have to notify your Managed Care Organization of the switch.
  • Talk to a workers’ comp attorney. If, at any point in the workers’ comp process, you feel you're being mistreated or denied certain rights by the employer, contact an attorney immediately.

Monast Law Office Wants to Help You Get the Best Care Possible

If you're being pressured to use a company doctor or are struggling to find the right outside doctor, contact my office and talk to my team. You can also learn more about your right to workers’ compensation by requesting a free download of our book, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio.  

 

James Monast
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Fighting for Ohio’s Injured Workers and their Families