Prior to 2003, you could choose your doctor. You could get a chiropractor, an osteopath, an orthopedic, a neurologist, a neurosurgeon.
If we didn’t like the doctor that the insurance company gave us, “send us three or more.” And I would say, “send us three more” till I got a doctor that we thought was fair down the middle of the road. Those days are gone
And in Florida, this is the insurance companies’ trade, they that control the doctor control the money.
So if your doctor isn’t taking you off work, you’re not getting a comp check.
What happens is, you go to the primary care physician, it’s typically CentraCare, Solantic, Mandara, somewhere where the doctor sees you. He is the primary care physician, and if he doesn’t write specialist on a piece of paper, a referral, you’re stuck at the doc in the box forever.
The only exception you have is that a lawyer has the right to an independent medical exam.
An independent medical exam is the doctor that I chose, that you go see, that can give an evaluation and recommend treatment. The insurance company can accept that.
You can go to the judge of compensation of claims – there is no jury trials in comp – and ask the judge to give you a new doctor.
It’s really tough.
And the biggest battle that I have is, “we don’t want to go to your doctors, we want to go to our doctors,” and that’s a big thing that a lawyer can actually help you with in a comp claim.