One of the side effects of any work injury is uncertainty. It is normal to have doubts when a doctor recommends surgery. After all, your livelihood and quality of life are at stake.
Minnesota law allows you to seek a second opinion about a medical procedure. You want to recover and return to work, but what is the best course of action? Your peace of mind is as important as your physical health.
Your second opinion rights
Employers are responsible when you suffer a work-related injury or disease. They must provide surgical treatment to aid in your recovery. You have the right to reject surgery as an option.
You also have the right to request a second opinion before non-emergency surgery. Your employer has the same right to seek a second opinion. In either case, your employer pays all costs.
It is important for you to attend the appointment for a second opinion when it is sought by your employer. Your employer can deny payment for the surgery if you miss an appointment. They must back up their denial with evidence that the treatment is unnecessary.
Getting a second opinion
Preparation before your appointment is key to getting a second opinion. Have copies of your medical records sent to the second doctor for review.
Write down any questions that you have for the second doctor so you do not forget anything. Have someone attend the appointment with you as a witness.
After the second opinion
It is possible that the second doctor will offer you a different opinion than the first. You have decisions to make, so review all the information in detail. Ask lots of questions, and take careful notes.
You and your employer may disagree on the next step. They may prefer the first opinion while you may prefer the second opinion. You may want to seek a third opinion or other outside assistance.