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Can you choose your doctor for a workers' compensation claim?

If you have been injured or suffer from a disease due to an on-the-job incident, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. Under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act, employees are eligible for medical expense coverage, lost wage reimbursement and rehabilitation cost coverage due to illness or injury caused by work-related incidents.

You should report your injury to your employer immediately, but no later than 30 days after the accident happened. You may also want to file a claim with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission (VWCC) directly, to protect yourself. Otherwise, your employer should report the incident to the VWCC within 10 days, after you reported it to your employer.

Your employer must provide you with the choice of at least three physicians. You may choose which one you want to be your medical provider from those options. The physician you choose now becomes your medical provider and handles all appointments relating to your workers compensation claim.

If you have a regular family doctor, you will not be able to designate them as your treating physician unless your employer allows it. In Virginia, your physician options are based on your employer's insurance company. In order to receive workers' compensation benefits, you must use an approved care provider.

On the other hand, if you need emergency medical treatment, you will be able to see any available medical provider. Be sure to tell the emergency care facility that you hurt yourself on-the-job. Additionally, if your authorized medical provider refers you to another physician, you should still be covered by workers' compensation.

If you have any questions regarding workers' compensation coverage, you can speak with your employer, contact the VWCC or reach out to a workers' compensation attorney.

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