How to find the right doctor when you have a compensation claim

12/04/2019

There is a lot of information floating around about compensation claims and the ‘right kind of doctor’ to help treat your injury or illness related to a claim for compensation. Gordon Legal have been successfully representing individuals claiming compensation for personal and work related injuries for decades. We have assembled some basic information here to help you understand how your choice of doctor may affect your claim for compensation.

"Which kind of doctor should I see if I have experienced a personal injury or illness at work or in a public space?"

The first doctor you should consult in the event of an injury or illness you have developed at work or in a public space is your own doctor. There are a number of myths surrounding claims for compensation and often, for whatever reason, you can be advised not to see your personal physician.

It is, in fact, recommended that you consult your personal GP in the first instance. Only your own GP will have an understanding of your personal medical records and history. This makes them uniquely qualified to understand your injury or illness and how it may affect you moving forward. They will also have a record of any medications that you are currently taking and will be able to refer back to your past history in order to develop treatment options or, subsequently, refer to you a specialist if they believe a referral is necessary.

"Is a work related compensation claim different to other compensation claims? Don’t I need to see the work doctor if I am injured at work?"

The short answer is no. You cannot be forced to see a specific doctor for treatment regardless of how they are described to you. Your employer cannot force you to see a specific doctor of their choice instead of your regular GP for the treatment of your injury or illness. If you believe that you have been forced to seek treatment from a doctor other than the one you have chosen, ensure that you still see your regular GP and explain to them what kind of treatment you have undergone and any medications offered to you.

"I know of someone who had to see a work doctor before they were allowed to return to work. What happens if I’m told I can’t go back to work unless I see the work doctor first?"

Your employer, WorkSafe and your employer’s WorkSafe insurer are permitted to request that you are assessed by a specific medical professional but this can only be for an assessment and not for treatment.

In order to be eligible for regular weekly compensation payments, you are required to provide a Workers’ Compensation Certificate of Capacity every 28 days. You can choose to have this certificate provided to you by your own personal doctor.

"Am I required to let my employer come with me to my doctor’s appointments? My employer says that they must be present for all compensation related appointments."

There have been instances in which workers have been told that their compensation related doctors appointments must be attended by an employer or a representative of their employer. This is simply untrue. No employer has the right to demand access to your personal medical appointments, irrespective of what condition you are seeking treatment for. You will not be deemed ineligible for payments or compensation by refusing your employer access to your medical appointments or assessments. If you believe that you have been pressured by anyone to provide access to your medical treatment or choice of treating physician, then you should seek advice immediately.

We are always happy to help and have extensive experience with personal claims for compensation as well as WorkSafe related claims. Contact today on 1800 21 22 23 to discuss the details of your case.