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Yes, in California, injured workers generally have the right to choose their own doctor for medical treatment in worker’s compensation cases. However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Pre-designation: Before an injury occurs, you have the option to pre-designate your personal physician for any work-related injuries or illnesses. To pre-designate your doctor, you must notify your employer in writing before the injury occurs, indicating your choice of physician. Pre-designation allows you to have your personal doctor provide treatment and care in the event of a work-related injury or illness.
  2. Employer’s Medical Provider Network (MPN): If your employer has established a Medical Provider Network, they may require you to seek treatment from a doctor within the network. The MPN is a group of healthcare providers chosen by your employer or their worker’s compensation insurance carrier. If your employer has an MPN, they must provide you with information about it, including how to access the network and the steps to obtain treatment from an approved doctor.
  3. Changing doctors: If you are not satisfied with the treatment provided by the initially selected doctor, you may have the right to request a one-time change of physician within the MPN or, in some cases, outside the MPN. However, certain conditions and procedures must be followed, and approval from the worker’s compensation administrative judge may be necessary.

It’s important to understand your rights regarding the choice of doctor and to follow the appropriate procedures outlined in California’s worker’s compensation system. Consulting with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney can help clarify your options and guide you through the process of selecting a doctor for your medical treatment.