If you suffer an injury in the workplace, it’s almost assured that you will be evaluated by a physician to document the extent of your injuries. This is a standard practice, especially if you are considering getting injury compensation or collecting wage loss benefits. But what if you go to this medical appointment and disagree with what the doctor finds? Are you allowed to seek a second opinion? Below, we explain the process of seeking a second opinion and who pays for these appointments after a work injury in Minnesota.
Getting A Second Medical Opinion
The old adage says that “doctor knows best,” but that doesn’t mean they have full and final say in your medical care. It’s still your health we’re talking about, and after a work injury, it’s important to remember that you have options. Regardless of whether you disagree with the first doctor’s assessment, or you just want to cover all your bases and get a second opinion before moving forward with surgical treatment, you are absolutely entitled to request and receive a second medical opinion after a work injury.
Don’t let your doctor or your employer tell you differently. It doesn’t matter whether you chose the original physician or it was recommended by your employer, you can elect to receive a second medical opinion after a workplace injury.
But this begs the question, “Who pays for a second medical evaluation?” Even if your employer doesn’t want you to get a second opinion, they’ll be the ones footing the bill. Minnesota law states:
- If an employee desires a second opinion about the necessity of surgery, the employer is obligated to pay the costs of obtaining a second opinion; and
- If the employer requires the employee to obtain a second opinion before surgery, the employer is responsible for the costs of that examination.
Finally, it’s worth noting that if the employee refuses to attend a second opinion that was requested by the employer, the employer has the right to refuse to pay for surgical treatment if they have medical information to dispute the reasonableness of the proposed surgery.
At the end of the day, know that you ultimately get to have final say when it comes to medical care after a work injury if surgery is on the table, but you can’t just ignore a request for a second opinion from your employer either. If this process becomes confusing or you want some help along the way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Office. We can help ensure your medical exam is accurate and that you get the compensation you deserve. For more information, or for help with your claim, reach out to Margolis Law Office at (952) 230-2701.