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What is a designated doctor appointment?

If you have been injured on the job in Texas, you may be instructed to go to a designated doctor appointment. Typically, this is something that is done when there is a dispute or when more information is needed, and it often relates to impairment cases. The doctor is picked out specifically to resolve things, so you do not have the freedom to go anywhere for this appointment. The TDI -- Texas Department of Insurance -- will pick the doctor out for you.

First, the designated doctor is going to look at all of the information from other doctors and specialists who have treated you during this time. After that, he or she will conduct another examination. The goal of this is often to see how your recovery is going, with a goal of maximum medical improvement.

If the doctor determines that you have, in fact, gotten to maximum medical improvement and you are still impaired, the doctor will rate that impairment. You can't get a rating if there is still a chance that you could improve further with more time.

Finally, the doctor is going to send in a medical evaluation report. He or she has just one week to do this.

Going to the designated doctor appointment is incredibly important if you believe you are permanently impaired or disabled. You must have proof of this, which the appointment can provide, when you are trying to determine what type of financial compensation and benefits you need.

As this process is carried out, make sure that you work closely with all doctors to get records relating to every step in the process.

Source: Texas Department of Insurance, "Employee Frequently-Asked Questions," accessed May. 15, 2015

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