The answer is “yes” as long as you’re traveling outside of the jurisdiction where you live. This means that you are forced to drive outside the city you live in to seek other medical treatment. If someone lives in Chandler, for example, and has to commute to Phoenix, the courts are most likely going to say you are not entitled to travel reimbursement because you’re traveling within the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
There was a case that was published this year where a Flagstaff resident transferred his care to a neurosurgeon in Phoenix. He then claimed travel reimbursement with the work comp insurance carrier. The insurance carrier denied reimbursement as they argued that there were other neurosurgeons in Flagstaff that could have treated him. The court upheld that opinion and essentially said that the injured worker did not establish that he had “no choice but to travel to Phoenix to obtain medical treatment.” If there were no doctors in Flagstaff that could treat his condition, and he was required to go to Phoenix to see a neurosurgeon for his industrial injuries, he would have been successful in obtaining travel reimbursement.
Again, it comes down to whether there are medical providers within your area of residence which includes the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, for example.
Fendon Law Firm is the largest family owned and operated workers’ compensation and Social Security disability law firm in Arizona. Please feel free to call us for a free consultation on your workers’ compensation or Social Security disability case. We have offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Prescott.