From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
January 8, 2009
Contact: Tiffany Champion, (210) 733-6604

Senator Van de Putte Files Legislation to Allow Injured Workers a Second Opinion

(AUSTIN, TX) — Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) has filed legislation allowing injured workers the ability to request a second opinion under the workers’ compensation system.

Under current law, insurance companies can require an injured worker to obtain a second opinion, but the workers are not afforded the same opportunity, should they be dissatisfied with their diagnosis. As a result, insurance carriers are allowed to obtain additional medical evidence, which can be used to deny the patient treatment.

Senate Bill 378 would place the employees of Texas, who sustain a work-related injury, on equal ground with insurance companies in the workers’ compensation system. Opposition to the bill is largely from insurance companies concerned with the added cost of a second opinion.

"I feel it is inherently unfair that an insurance company can force an injured worker to get a second opinion in an effort to save money. Meanwhile an unsatisfied injured worker cannot do the same for themselves," said Van de Putte. "It's time to level the playing field."