Every year, thousands of hard-working Arkansans suffer severe accidents at their workplace. Unfortunately, many of these injured workers have to go through a lengthy, painful recovery process. Fortunately, injured workers in Arkansas can get assistance from their workers’ compensation insurance. However, injured victims have to follow a set of requirements to get their compensation. Part of the workman’s comp process requires the injured worker to get a medical opinion from a physician appointed by their employer. You may wonder whether you can get a second medical opinion from another doctor to help support your claim. Our Fayetteville, AR work injury lawyer, Ken Kieklak, explains.
How Do I Get a Second Medical Opinion on My Workplace Injury in Arkansas?
If you were injured at work, you need to get medical assistance, regardless of the extent of your injury. In more severe workplace accidents, injured employees rely on their work insurance to help them during their recovery period. One of the requirements for workers’ compensation in Arkansas is getting medical assistance from an employer-provided physician. Typically, you will get a list of physicians that can take care of your injuries after a workplace accident.
However, are you able to get a second medical opinion on a personal injury case in Arkansas from a doctor of your choice? While it is true that under the workers’ compensation rules, you need to get medical services from your employer’s doctor, nothing stops you from getting evaluated by a doctor of your choice or another doctor you can trust for a second medical opinion. Getting a second medical opinion is critical and can help support your claim and establish transparency through the process.
However, you should not just go for a second medical opinion on your own. It is critical to inform your employer about your intention of seeking a second medical opinion. Once you have notified your employer, you can consult with your second doctor and provide their results to your employer. An experienced Sebastian County, AR workplace injury lawyer can also assist you through this time.
Why Do Injured Workers Seek a Second Medical Opinion for their Workplace Injury?
There are many reasons why an injured worker may want to seek a second medical opinion. As an injured worker, your main concern should be your safety and ensuring you can present your employer with an accurate, complete assessment of your injuries. Some of the reasons why injured workers would want to second medical opinions in Arkansas include:
There have been numerous cases where an injured worker has gone through doctors provided by their workman’s comp insurance, only to provide statements that are detrimental to the injured worker. For instance, an employer-appointed physician may render a report that may downplay an injured worker’s injury, forcing them to work, while in reality, they shouldn’t. In these cases, there is always the fear of bias.
In many cases, your employer and their insurer control who should treat your injury or workplace condition. For this reason, you might fear that your treating physician may be “playing for your employer’s team” instead of providing them with an accurate observation of your case.
A second doctor’s expert opinion can help you corroborate the findings on your case or present evidence of conflicting results between a doctor who knows your medical records and one who probably does not. It is essential to understand that getting a second opinion on a personal injury case in Arkansas doesn’t have the purpose of antagonizing both parties. It has the purpose of supporting an injured worker’s claim to get a fair chance of getting compensation for their injuries.
Getting a second medical opinion for transparency is essential. This is a critical step, especially if you are seeking benefits. Through a second medical opinion, you can evaluate or determine the effectiveness of your treatment, original diagnosis, and other recommendations made by your first doctor.
Fear of Malpractice
While unfortunate, medical error occurs more frequently than you may think. Every year, thousands of patients are injured or misdiagnosed by negligent doctors. You may want to ask for a second medical opinion to make sure you are free from any dangers your first doctor may have missed.
It is critical to contact an experienced Arkansas workplace injury attorney who can help you make an informed decision on your second medical opinion.
How a Medical Opinion Impacts Compensation After Your Workplace Injury in Arkansas
Getting compensation after your workplace accident is possible. However, you must meet a specific set of requirements set forth. It is critical to report your injury to your employer. Typically, you have up to thirty days from the moment of your workplace accident to deliver a written report to your employer detailing the circumstances of your accident and injuries.
Part of your compensation process requires you to get medical assistance. As we mentioned, your employer will provide you with a list of physicians who can treat your injuries. While you can always get a second medical opinion – for the reasons we explained above – it is critical to comply with any and every appointment, test, or treatment your employer-appointed physician orders. Missing, ignoring, or otherwise delaying any orders from your first physician can delay your benefits or put them at risk.
Once you have reported your workplace accident and injuries, received medical treatment, and gotten your second medical opinion, you should deliver your claim paperwork to your employer. Once you provide your claim, your employer will send it to the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. The commission will evaluate your claim and determine whether they approve or deny your claim.
Arkansas Workplace Injury Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured at their workplace in Arkansas, we can help. For decades, our Crawford County work injury attorney, Ken Kieklak, have represented thousands of injured workers in Arkansas. Thanks to our experience, we can help you fight aggressively and strategically to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We understand how difficult and challenging dealing with a workplace injury can be, especially if you are your household’s sole provider. For this reason, we work tirelessly to fight for the compensation you need and deserve. To learn more about our services in a free, confidential consultation, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law today (479) 316-0438.