DENYING CLAIM MAY RESULT IN LOSS OF ABILITY TO CHOOSE DOCTOR
Fluor Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Fluor Signature Services v. Darrell Lawshe:
On February 6, 2009, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals considered the issue of whether or not an employee can choose his own doctor when compensability is denied and later judicially determined to be compensable. In this case, the employer denied the claim and the employee went to his own doctor. When the trial court ruled that the claim was compensable, the employer sought to have its own doctor treat the employee. the trial court ruled that the employee could keep using the doctor of his own choosing. On appeal, the Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision.
Practice Pointer: Employers must now consider the fact that they may lose the right to choose the doctor when compensability is denied and the claim is later deemed compensable.