Can Workers' Comp Come to My Doctor's Appointments?

Can Workers’ Comp Come to My Doctor’s Appointments?

If you are seeing a doctor for a work-related injury, your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider may want to attend your medical appointments with you. Does Florida law allow a workers’ comp representative to come to your doctor’s appointments? The short answer is no. Your relationship with your doctor is a private one, and no one has the right to intervene or be physically present during your treatment and consultations.

The question of what degree an employer or insurance company representative can communicate with your doctor is a broader one. The attorneys at Berlin Law Firm routinely address questions like this and can provide you with the trusted answers, advice and advocacy you need during the difficult process of obtaining the workers’ comp benefits you need.

With law offices in Sarasota and Tampa, we handle workers’ compensation claims and appeals for injured workers throughout Florida. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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Why Do They Want to Attend?

If you are seeking or already receiving workers’ comp benefits, there are many people who may be motivated to attend your doctor’s appointments with you. These people may include a case manager or nurse case manager from the workers’ comp insurance company, an insurance adjustor or a representative from your own employer.

If someone is pressuring you to let them join you in the doctor’s office, you must consider their motivations in doing so. Are they trying to include themselves for your benefit or their own? The answer in almost all cases is the latter. Reasons they may want to attend your doctor’s appointments include:

  • Influencing your doctor: The person attending your appointment with you may ask the doctor carefully crafted questions designed to clear you for certain work duties. In a fair system, doctors must arrive at their conclusions independently, not due to manipulative tactics of a financially motivated third party.
  • Pressuring you into undermining your injuries: The presence of this person can also exert pressure on you. Some workers may underreport their injuries under such circumstances, but they shouldn’t have to. You should be free to report your symptoms and limitations to your doctor without knowing a third party is listening to every word you say.

Any intervention a case manager or other party has during your doctor’s appointment is likely only to benefit your employer and the insurance company, at the expense of your own interests. If you are facing such tactics, speak with our experienced Florida work injury lawyers as soon as possible. Your own lawyer is motivated to protect your interests, not anyone else’s.

Injured worker meets with Florida workers comp doctor

Even if They’re Not in the Room, They Can Still Talk with Your Doctor

There are many stakeholders in a workers’ compensation claim, including your employer, nurse case managers, insurance adjustors and attorneys representing the workers’ comp insurance provider. While doctor-patient confidentiality applies in most medical situations, it is suspended to some extent in the case of a work-related injury.

Florida law requires that all parties involved in a workers’ compensation claim receive “reasonable access to medical information” pertinent to the work injury in question. This information includes:

  • test results
  • doctor’s notes
  • medication lists
  • disability ratings
  • and more

Generally, these parties are allowed to communicate with your doctor as much as they want and without notifying you, as long as their discussions are limited to your work injury and the body part or parts affected by it.

This does not mean all types of communication are allowed. If an interested party is trying to influence your doctor into making decisions that financially benefit them, they may be in violation of the law. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your rights in these situations and take appropriate legal actions when necessary.

Young Doctor Laughs With Latina Patient as She Recovers from Her Work Injury

Talk With an Attorney Who Can Protect Your Rights

If someone has told you they have the right to attend your doctor’s appointments, it may be difficult to say no, especially when that person represents a powerful insurance company or the business that you are financially dependent upon. Remember, you don’t have to face such difficult situations alone.

The Florida workers’ compensation lawyers at Berlin Law Firm have extensive experience responding to tactics used by employers and insurance companies. If you think someone has violated your rights or if you need legal help filing for workers’ comp benefits or appealing a denied claim, we are here for you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Concerns About Your Workers’ Compensation Claim? Call Our Team Today