Can I see my own doctor for treatment for my industrial injury?

Yes. Under the Washington state workers' compensation laws, an injured worker has the right to choose his or her own doctor for treatment. The doctor can be a medical doctor or an alternative care practitioner such as a chiropractor, a naturopath or even a physicians' assistant supervised by a doctor.

That doctor, however, has to be part of the Department of Labor & Industries' Provider Network. Make sure when you see a doctor for treatment related to your workers' compensation claim that he or she is part of the Provider Network. If not, you will need to find another doctor. Out-of-state doctors need not be part of the Provider Network, but they must be an approved provider.

If medically necessary and approved by the Department or self-insured employer, you can treat with more than one doctor at a time. Generally, however, you will have one attending physician who will direct your care.

The Department of Labor & Industries or your self-insured employer may periodically have you examined by doctors they select. Those special examinations (so-called independent medical examination or IME) are allowed under the industrial insurance laws of this state. The location of those examinations must be reasonably convenient to your home.