Thomas McCutcheon

When an employee is injured in Alabama, while on the job, doing their job and notifying their employer of the injury, the employer is required to pay for the employee’s medical treatment related to the injury.

That’s a lot of information. For instance, the employee has to be doing their job and not engaged in “horseplay” or their own personal business. The employee has to notify the employer that they were injured. Either the employer saw it, was told about it orally within four (4) days or written notice was given within 90 days. Otherwise, the employee did not give notice pursuant to law. The medical treatment has to be treatment that is results from or is a natural consequence of the injury.

The employer can pick the first doctor and if the employee is dissatisfied, the employee may demand a panel of four (4) doctors chosen by the employer from which to choose one (1).

If the employer’s doctor recommends surgery, the employee may ask for a second surgical opinion and again receive a panel of four (4) doctors. Obviously the choice of doctors is important. Some are better than others. Some specialize in different types of treatment. The choice needs to be an informed choice.

Where we see a problem is when, after an injury, a doctor, not an approved treating physician, recommends further treatment. Usually this treatment is with another doctor that’s not approved by the employer. This creates several problems. First, if the employer does not pre-approve the treatment, the employer does not have to pay for the treatment. Second, if the treatment is the result of an on-the-job injury, Blue Cross Blue Shield or other third party carriers do not have to pay for the treatment. This leaves the employee responsible for the bill. Occasionally people need treatment so badly that they will deny that its work related in order for their Blue Cross to pick it up. If you don’t know that it’s related or you deny that the treatment is related, it’s difficult to come back later and prove that it is related. Good personal injury lawyers give free consultations. This is an area where you need to talk to one who does workers compensation cases on a regular basis.

Buckle up, drive safely and as always your referrals are appreciated! 256-764-0112

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