Workers' Compensation Choice of Physician Rule

Recently, I have received several questions regarding the new “choice of physician” rule in workers’ compensation cases in Colorado. Many of my workers’ compensation clients have asked me if this means they can choose any doctor they like. The simple answer to that is: maybe. It is true that for work related injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2008, the employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, in most cases, must provide a written list of at least two (2) different doctor or facilities where the injured worker may receive care. This written list must be provided to the injured worker within seven (7) business days from the date the injured worker provides notice of the injury to his or her employer. If the injured worker is not provided with this written list, the injured worker most likely will be able to choose any medical provider he or she may want to provide treatment for the work-related injury. If the injured worker is provided with the written list, the injured worker may still request a change to the other doctor or facility provided in the list as long as this one time change of physician request is made within ninety (90) days of the date of injury and prior to being placed at maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is just another example of why it is critical to report a work injury to the employer immediately and preferably in writing.

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Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.