I do not like the doctor that the workers compensation carrier has referred me to. Can I change doctors and go to a physician of my choice?

Answer: Under Virginia workers compensation law, there is really no mechanism for obtaining a second opinion and having the employer/comp carrier pay for it; however, if your approved treating doctor claims there is nothing more than can be done for you, and you are still experiencing pain, you may be able to seek another 3-doctor panel from the employer to choose from.

In addition, in Virginia, there is absolutely no problem whatsoever with you seeking treatment from any doctor you want—you just will not be able to get the employer to pay for it.

You may have to seek treatment that is covered by your private health insurance. Sometimes, it is necessary to go this ‘private doctor’ route in order to find a health care provider with a more sympathetic ear, and who is not in the pocket of the workers comp insurance company, to provide the evidence necessary to prove your case before the Commission.

If that ‘private doctor’ makes sense, especially if he or she finds the source of a medical problem that your workers compensation doctors refused to acknowledge, the Commission may very well accept the opinion of that private doctor over your workers compensation treating doctor.