You Don’t Need To See A Doctor Recommended By The Railroad. You Can See Whatever Doctor You Choose.
That is your right under the injury law and under the whistleblower law to choose your own doctor. If the claims agent or your supervisor tells you that you have to see someone that they recommend, please know that that is entirely false.
Seeing a company chosen doctor can be one of the worst decisions you make in regards to your claim. The reason is simple: to determine how badly injured you are, it takes running tests; a doctor that wants more business from a large railroad company will not want to run the bill up on that railroad company and he may be reluctant to recommend expensive tests for you. It’s easier for him to just delay you and ‘wait and watch’ in the hopes you may get better than to actively run expensive tests to make sure you know the full extent of your injuries.
Do I have to get “approval” for my medical treatments?
No, you do not need approval to go to a doctor of your choice.
The railroads prey on medical providers that are used to dealing with nurse case managers who work on claims for individuals covered under workers’ compensation. Under the FELA, the railroad does not have a right to talk to your treating doctor, to have access to your medical records, or to be in the room when you are being examined by your doctor. The railroad processes your medical bills but these bills are processed under your group health insurance policy. Do not allow the railroad to talk to your doctors because they “pay the bills.” As a railroad worker, you do not waive your doctor/patient privilege. This privilege is protected under the FELA and the whistleblower statute.