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Finding medical care after construction workers' accidents

After an on-the-job illness or injury, workers may need more than one physician in order to receive the appropriate treatment. Workers' compensation benefits are designed to provide medical care to be paid for by their employers and insurance. As part of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, employers are also required to inform workers what doctors they can receive treatment from after construction workers' accidents.

Employers may choose the medical professionals they wish to send their employees to after an illness or injury. Within 90 days from the initial visit regarding a work-related health issue, an employee must visit one of the chosen providers. Employers must post the list of designated medical professionals and provide the information to employees, along with workers' rights and responsibilities, when hired, when the list changes or when an injury is suffered.

Employers must choose a minimum of six providers, but only three have to be doctors since the definition of "provider" includes more than just medical doctors. Employers may not tell a worker which provider to see, and all chosen providers must be within an accessible geographic location. Providers must be tailored to the types of injuries workers could suffer when working in a particular industry. If an appropriate specialist is not available or if the list fails to meet the provisions of the act, employees may choose a provider. 

Getting the appropriate medical care is essential after construction workers' accidents. The medical care received should provide the best chance of recovery possible. If an employer fails to comply with the act or attempts to deny a worker's right to see the appropriate medical professional for the injury or illness, it may be beneficial to seek the advice and assistance of a Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorney.

Source: dli.pa.gov, "Physicians List Defined", May 28, 2017

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