The most important decision in a personal injury case is choosing the doctors. It is as important, if not more important, than the right lawyer. The reason is that your personal injury case will live and die on many factors. If not the most important, then the second most important factor (I always say being honest is the most important factor, but that is another blog), is picking the right doctors. The third most important factor is picking the right lawyer.
After an injury or an accident the victim at that point is not the legal client of any injury lawyer. They are, however, a patient of a doctor. That first doctor will examine the patient and document the injuries which the patient has at that time. It is extremely important to advise the doctor of every ache and pain you are feeling from the accident. Don’t hold back and don’t be heroic. Things that hurt just a little after an accident can become chronic issues and need surgery. If you don’t say anything at the time of the accident the other party is going to say you are faking it! So tell your doctor.
The best doctors to go to after an accident are emergency room doctors. They are good at taking down what is wrong. They want to know everything. They also won’t keep you long if it isn’t necessary. So, you won’t stay overnight if they can get you home safely, but the mere fact that you went to the ER for treatment will get you solid documentation (as long as you tell the doctor everything) and also will not typically have a doctor on staff who will intentionally undermine your case.
Say what? !!!
“INTENTIONALLY UNDERMINE MY CASE?”
Yes! Intentionally undermine your case.
Because doctors are humans and humans are feeling machines that think, not thinking machines that feel. If you don’t know what I am talking about let me educate you.
There are two types of doctors in the world. The “scorned by litigation” doctors and the “paid to find no injury” doctors. Let me explain these two creatures.
The scorned by litigation doctor is that person who has been practicing medicine and makes a mistake. That mistake costs their patient in time, money, health and well-being. That patient finds a lawyer and sues the doctor. Some doctors have relatively huge egos and they do not like being sued. They say things like “This guy frivolously sued me when I did nothing wrong!” If the jury awards that patient a lot of money, that doctor is scorned by an unjust court system which awards frivolous lawsuits. We don’t need to argue about whether there are a lot of frivolous lawsuits or not. I don’t think there are and I have a lot of experience in this arena. But I represent a lot of doctors and hospitals, and I know they feel this way just through my conversations with them. So, even if they are right, it is still relevant to you, the injured automobile accident victim. You do not want to go to a scorned by litigation doctor. They may not even know they are biased, but they will undermine your injuries in their notes and not appreciate treating you if they find out you are suing someone for your injury. You simply cannot trust the scorned by litigation doctor.
The other doctor is far more dangerous. That is the paid to find no injury doctor. There is an entire business field called Compulsory Medical Examinations. These are medical exams which are forced on accident victims by the defendants and the insurance companies. These exams are given by a fleet of doctors who make, literally millions of dollars, doing these examinations. The exams are for the benefit of the insurance company and they are not to be considered a treating doctor. Doctors who know their place in this system make a lot of money by finding no injuries in the accident victims they examine for the insurance company. This gives the insurance company the ability to go into court and tell a jury that the injuries are false and the Plaintiff is a fraud.
That happens in almost every single injury litigation. Yep, it is true. In every single litigation there is a defense expert doctor who examines the Plaintiff and finds the injury either does not exist at all, was preexisting, or is unrelated to the accident. They find a way to make the accident not responsible for the damages. They are smart, well trained, well written and know what the insurance company needs to pay less on the claim. You NEVER want to inadvertently use an Insurance doctor to help you on your injury case. They will never give you a good report. They will by nature simply be biased toward the defense.
They are the worst choice in care as well, since you may have a real injury that needs care. The hard part about this is that you, the patient, have no clue if a doctor is being paid a few hundred thousand dollars by the exact insurance company you are suing. There is no records or internet log or government list which lets patients know who is an insurance doctor. You need an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to guide you to the best medical care. That lawyer can look at your health care list of providers and pick a few doctors who are known to be good documenters, good treaters, great surgeons and compassionate human beings. This will literally make your case. The ability to document injury up front and early on in a case is of the utmost importance.
If you are ever in need of help in picking a doctor, don’t wait! Call our office today. We will review all the available choices of doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other sub-specialist medical providers, like neurologists, psychiatrists and neurosurgeons and give you a free medical referral list to use when picking your medical provider. This is a free service we offer to the community even if you are NOT our client. We simply don’t want inexperienced lawyers or unknowing patients to pick doctors in our community who will harm their claims. Remember our services are always contingent so we only get paid if we get money for you! I look forward to helping you avoid poor medical care and maximizing your injury case in the future!