This week has been car accident week! All kinds of questions and thoughts that have made me get on my soap box and set the record straight on a few things.
1. You have the right to choose your healthcare provider after an accident!
You should see a doctor you are comfortable seeing. If you are not getting answers or good results with your current doctor, you should switch doctors. If you don't think your doctor is listening to you, you can switch doctors. If your attorney tells you to go to "his doctor," you still have the right to choose which doctor you are going to see. I get messages from friends around the country (I got one this morning) looking for recommendations for a doctor after a car accident. If I don't know someone in their town, I'm going to research a good doctor for them.
We have had many patients come to our office after an accident that were being treated somewhere else previously. Great! We are happy to help. What is most important is that the patient actually got positive results where she wasn't getting results before. Watch her testimonial below.
Why do attorneys recommend specific doctor's offices?
Usually an attorney wants to work with a doctor's office that takes excellent documentation, will send the patient for the proper referrals (MRI, Motion X-Ray, orthopedic, neuro, etc) when needed, and takes good care of the patient. Many doctors office that don't have experience in treating accident injuries do not know how to do this properly. Their documentation is lacking and they want to continue to treat without working with other doctors. Most attorney recommendations can be good, but you don't have to go to the recommended office. We see this most frequently when patients that have already treated in a clinic and want to return to that clinic.
2. Seek legal advice!
The issue of choosing a doctor or attorney goes both ways. We work with attorneys that we know are "good" because they listen to the patient, get medical bills paid, cars fixed, and get stuff done! If you don't like the attorney we recommend, you can choose whoever you want, BUT you need an attorney! We have patients that try to navigate the insurance and legal system by themselves and end up overwhelmed. Why would you want to do that? An attorney is not paid until the case settles so it essentially costs you nothing. Usually it will pay you to get an attorney. If your insurance company or the other parties insurance doesn't pay your full medical bill, then you are responsible to pay. Why would you want that stress? We don't want that for you. Please call an attorney. We are happy to recommend one or two or three so you can have a choice.
3. Document Everything
We had a patient come into the office recently that was hit by a car while riding her bike. It was not her fault. She now has injuries from the accident. She didn't get the driver's information. She didn't even get a license plate. She didn't call the police. There is no documentation anywhere. No pictures are available. She doesn't remember the exact date the accident happened. All she remembers is that it is a white car. She has to rely 100% on her health insurance to treat her for her injuries. Unfortunately, they don't cover everything that she needs for treatment and she doesn't have enough to pay out of pocket. Don't let this happen to you!
I think that is enough for now regarding accidents. Stepping off of my soapbox for now, but if we get some more cases like this this week, I'm coming right back up!