Can I get a second opinion when being treated for a work injury?
If the treating doctor determines that you have reached maximum improvement and releases you from treatment to return to work, you can request a second opinion about treatment recommendations. You have a right to propose a doctor to conduct an independent medical exam. If you and the workers’ comp insurance administrator cannot agree on a doctor to give a second opinion, you can file a request with the Industrial Commission to agree to a second opinion with a doctor that you have chosen.
If the insurance adjuster disputes your request for a second opinion, it is helpful to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney arguing on your behalf to justify your request for a second opinion. Your company’s workers’ compensation adjuster will have a lawyer or experienced representatives making arguments as to why your request should be denied. You should have legal representation too, or you will be at a disadvantage.
Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, you also have a right to get a second opinion if you disagree with your permanent disability rating assigned by the doctor who treated your work-related injury. You are entitled to have another examination focused on your disability rating by a doctor of your own selection. The doctor shall be paid for by the employer.