Last month, I spoke to members of AFSCME local #2220 at Hunterdon Developmental Center about their rights under the current workers’ compensation laws. One of the issues that usually comes up at these meetings involves obtaining the medical treatment you are looking for. If you’re hurt at work in New Jersey, your employer or its insurance carrier picks the doctor. This doesn’t mean the doctor works for the insurance company, but it does mean that the insurance company will try to control your treatment at every point.
The reality is that the insurance company, through its adjusters and nurse case managers, can and will contact your Doctor and staff. They do this for various reasons, such as to see if you really need to be out of work for the next 4 weeks or whether you really need an MRI now as opposed to 3 months from now.
The best advice I can give, is that the doctor can be your biggest ally in a workers’ compensation case. It is going to take some work to make this happen though.