It doesn’t happen often, but the 1st District Court of Appeals rendered an opinion on February 18, 2013, that is a significant win for the injured worker.
In Hinzman v Winter Haven Facility Operations LLC and Gallagher Bassett Services, the 1st DCA ruled that the employer carrier only has a total of 5 days, not 5 business days to respond to an injured worker’s request for a one time change in physician. Section 440.13(2)(f) Fla. Stat. grants the injured employee the right to change physicians one time during the course of treatment for any one accident. Upon receipt of the written request for a change of physician, the employer/carrier is required to authorized a new physician within 5 days. Upon expiration of the 5th day, the right to select the physician shifts to the injured worker. Following Hinzman, it will be wisest for the injured worker to submit a request to change physicians so that a weekend is included in the time provided to the employer/carrier to authorize a doctor.
If you have submitted a written request for a one time change, you may be entitled to select the physician and control the direction of your medical care. If you have requested a change in physician and the employer/carrier has notified you of an appointment, please contact an attorney before going to the appointment. If you attend, you may forfeit the right to select your physician. At Michles & Booth, PA, our worker’s compensation attorneys Brian Carter and Antonio Bruni dedicate their practices to helping injured workers receive the medical treatment they deserve under the law. If you or a loved one have been injured on the job, contact us today to learn more about your rights.