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Injured Workers In Minnesota Have The Right To Choose Their Doctor

One fallacy that is usually perpetuated by some employers is that an injured employee MUST go to the doctor or clinic that their employer chooses. This is not true.

In Minnesota, an injured worker has the right to choose his or her treating medical provider. This is not a new or novel concept. In fact, it has been around since the 1970's. However, if an injured worker goes to the doctor or clinic that the employer instructs them to, then that provider becomes their treating physician and that cannot be changed unless the injured worker changes doctors within the first 60 days after treatment begins or, after 60 days, convinces a judge there is a reasonable basis to change doctors.

Unsurprisingly, when employers "send" injured workers to certain doctors or clinics it is usually not with the best interest of the injured worker in mind. It is usually an economic determination or, worse, a doctor or clinic that has a reputation of rushing injured workers back to work before they should.

If you get stuck with a doctor or clinic of your employer's choosing and feel you are being treated unfairly you can seek a change in your doctor. Reasons such as loss of faith in the doctor's skill, lack of improvement in conditions and communication breakdowns are recognized as a basis to change physicians. Naturally, an injured worker cannot change physicians simply to prolong time off work or for litigation purposes.

Also, going to the emergency room after an injury does not determine your treating doctor as you must be treated by a doctor twice for that doctor to become your treating doctor. This is rare as most folks do not go to the emergency room more than once shortly after being injured, and if they did the likelihood of the same doctor seeing them for both visits is fairly small.

The takeaway is that if you have the misfortune of being injured at work see the doctor you are most comfortable with and NOT the one your employer is telling you to see.

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