Question: I was injured in an accident and I hired a lawyer. The lawyer has been talking to my doctor about my treatment status and also sent the doctor a letter of protection. Will it hurt my case if my lawyer is talking to my doctor?
Robert’s Answer: There is nothing wrong with a personal injury attorney talking to your doctor. In fact, your attorney should be keeping up with the status of your treatment and making sure everything is going smoothly. It is also okay for your lawyer to send a letter of protection (in certain types of cases). However, your attorney should not be directing your medical treatment.
So many times attorneys will refer their clients to a doctor and then direct their treatment. Sometimes, the attorney will even require the doctor to get approval from the attorney for certain types of medical procedures. That is where things can go terrible wrong and here’s why: If your case is unable to settle and a lawsuit gets filed, then your attorney’s discussions with the doctor are subject to being disclosed in the medical records, a deposition, or at trial in front of a jury. If it looks like the attorney is calling the shots on your medical treatment, then it looks more like the doctor is working for the attorney rather than for the patient.
I normally discuss my client’s treatment status with the doctor. That is perfectly normal. But just make sure your attorney is not controlling and directing your treatment.