Can I choose my own doctor for workers’ comp in North Carolina?

North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation law restricts an injured worker’s ability to select a doctor. Generally speaking, the employer, or the employer’s insurance company that administers workers’ compensation claims, chooses the doctor and directs the medical care dealing with work-related injuries. If you are injured on the job, you should ask your human resource’s office or the worker’s compensation administrator where to go for medical care after an on-the-job injury. Some large employers may have a doctor on site.

In other instances, the employer or insurance provider may have a list of doctors from which to choose an approved physician to treat your workplace injury. It is important that you follow your doctor’s orders. If you disregard the doctor’s orders or miss follow-up appointments, you may jeopardize your workers’ compensation benefits.

Your employer can request information from the treating doctor regarding the course of treatment of your work-related injury and the estimated time out of work, work restrictions and anticipated time of work restrictions.

If you require emergency medical care, you may seek the necessary treatment from a doctor or hospital of your own choosing. But you must promptly notify your employer of your injury and ask for approval of the emergency treatment. If the employer disputes the treatment, you may file a petition with the N.C. Industrial Commission seeking authorization of the emergency medical care. The industrial Commission is the state agency that administers the Workers’ Compensation Act.

You also have a right to choose your own doctor to give you a second opinion on your level of disability. If you have received a permanent disability rating after recovering from a work-related injury and you disagree with the rating, you can select a doctor to re-examine you and provide a disability rating.

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