SO YOU WANT A SECOND OPINION IN YOUR FLORIDA WORK COMP CASE?
Many Florida injured workers are unhappy with the "medical care" they receive from the doctor the workers' compensation carrier sent them to after filing a work comp claim. Some are dissatisfied because they never get to see a doctor--only the doctor's assistants. Some are unhappy because the work comp doctor does not listen to their complaints and address all the injuries the injured worker is suffering from. So, what can they do about it?
Sadly, the Florida workers' compensation system does not provide much relief to these situations. If your work comp accident happened after October 1, 2003, the law does not require the carrier to authorize a second opinion. You are entitled to a change of doctor. However, the carrier gets to pick that doctor as well and you could end up with an even worse one. Also, you are entitled to an Independent Medical Examination by a doctor of your choice, but the injured worker is responsible for payment of the IME and the IME doctor cannot provide any treatment--just an examination.
That being said, there are a few situations in which the Judge of Compensation Claims can deem that the nature of the injury or the process of recovery renders a second medical opinion medical necessary. However, an evidentiary hearing would be required and the injured worker bears the burden of demonstrating the entitlement of the second opinion.
If you have been involved in a Florida work comp claim, it is important that you talk with an attorney who understands the Florida workers' compensation law. Albeit, the work comp benefits are few and far between, you are entitled to all of them. You need an attorney watching out for you because the case nurse and adjuster most times are not.
My Tampa Bay personal injury law firm has been fighting for those injured in work-related injuries for over 53 years. We know and understand the Florida work comp law. To contact me to schedule a free case evaluation, simply click here.