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Choosing Your Doctor in a Workers' Compensation Claim

Matt Murphy Feb 9, 2017

After you are injured at work, it is important that you get the right medical treatment as soon as possible. Many times, your employer or the workers' compensation insurer will tell you that you are not allowed to choose your own doctor. Instead, the insurer will arrange for you to see "their" doctor who you have never heard of and do not trust. Unfortunately, in Montana, insurers regularly force injured workers to treat with doctors who are bought and paid for by insurance companies - what we call "hired guns."

Since the Montana legislature enacted Mont. Code Ann. 39-71-1101 in 2011, workers' compensation insurers throughout Montana insist that they have the right to choose your doctor for you. However, don't be fooled by this argument, and do not let the insurer dictate your medical care. Insurers are looking out for their bottom line, not yours. If an insurer saves money by sending you to their favorite doctor, you lose. We see many of the same doctors continuously being hired by insurers for a specific reason: they save the insurance company money. Often times these doctors accomplish this by incorrectly diagnosing an injury, by cutting workers off from needed medical benefits, by releasing workers to return to work prematurely, or by taking the position that injuries which were clearly caused at work are due to other factors like age or a preexisting condition.

"Hired gun" doctors have been recognized by many Courts in Montana, including the Workers' Compensation Court and the Montana Supreme Court. The right to choose your own medical treatment is of fundamental importance, and you should not allow an insurance company to invade your freedom of choice and privacy.   

Being forced to go to an insurer's doctor can be detrimental to your claim, your health, and your employment future. If you are being forced to see a doctor against your wishes, you can do something about it and we want to help you. Fortunately, at Murphy Law Firm, we successfully fight against unconstitutional insurance actions and help get our clients to doctors they can trust, and who have their best interests at heart. If you want our help in getting the medical treatment you need so you can heal and get back to work, call (406) 452-2345, or visit Murphy Law Firm today for a free consulation.  

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