Posted September 18, 2019 | by Robert C. Slim | in Personal Injury Blog
I called my primary care doctor after my car accident and he won’t see me. What should I do now?
Throughout my years as a car accident lawyer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I hear this all the time. You are injured in a car accident. Naturally, you want to see the doctor.
So, you call your family doctor or primary care physician. A staff member asks you how you were injured. You say that you were in a car accident and are experiencing pain.
Then the staff member states that they do not treat car accident patients. They might also say that they do not handle “third-party” cases. What does this mean? Why won’t my own doctor see me?
Your Doctor Does Not Want to Get Involved in Your Car Accident Case.
The reality is that your doctor does not want to get involved in the insurance and legal aspects of your claim.
When you are injured in a car accident, you have a claim against the the other driver. You also have a claim against the other driver’s insurance company and maybe your own auto insurance company.
Sometimes these claims are resolved easily. But most of the time, some legal maneuvering is necessary to get the claim handled properly.
Your doctor does not want to get involved in your insurance and legal claims. The doctor does not want to deal with attorneys, and possibly subpoenas and depositions. That is why your doctor will not see you.
The Doctor Thinks He Won’t Get Paid.
One other reason your doctor may not see you is that they think they might not get paid by your health insurance.
When you are involved in a car accident, your health insurance company may want to get reimbursed in case you settle your case later. This is called subrogation.
In order to secure their subrogation claim, your health insurance company will probably ask you for the accident and auto insurance information.
In the meantime, your insurance company may not pay your medical bills related to the accident until they get this information. Therefore, your doctor might not get paid for your visit right away.
So, Now What?
Go to the Hospital Emergency Room.
If you feel like you need emergency medical attention, then go to the hospital emergency room.
However, there might be some legal implications by going to an emergency room. Most importantly, you might get a hospital lien filed in your injury case.
But don’t let that stop you from doing what you think is right for your injuries. If you feel like you need emergency medical treatment, then go to the hospital.
Go To a Minor Emergency or Urgent Care Center.
If you don’t think you need a hospital, but would like to be seen by a doctor, then a minor emergency or urgent care center might be your best bet.
They will examine you and document your complaints. They can also take x-rays and prescribe medication if necessary.
Many of these facility are available throughout the Dallas area. A major advantage of going to one of these facilities is that they cannot file a hospital lien in your case.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer, Right Away!
This is, by far, the best option. Why? Because a car accident lawyer will help you coordinate and manage your case.
Your lawyer does more than just negotiate a settlement. In fact, negotiating a settlement is a minor part of the lawyer’s role. The most important thing your lawyer does is make sure your case is developed and managed properly.
Your Lawyer Will Help You Get Medical Treatment.
There are doctors that will provide medical treatment under a “letter of protection.” That means, your lawyer will issue a letter on your behalf that the doctors will get paid once your case settles.
However, doctors will normally only treat you under a letter of protection only if you have a lawyer. That is because the doctor wants to make sure your case is properly handled and that they will get paid.
The good thing for you is that you get the medical treatment you need without having to pay up-front. You also don’t have to worry about hospital liens or subrogation claims.
Protect Your Legal Rights.
You need to act quickly to protect your legal rights. There are so many things that can happen in the first few days of an accident that can negatively effect your case. You need to avoid these problems.
The best way to avoid the problems is to consult with a trusted and experienced car accident lawyer from the very beginning.
You and your lawyer work as a team. That is because your lawyer gets paid only if you get paid. This is called a contingency fee. Therefore, you and your lawyer are both looking out for what is best for your case.
Robert C. Slim has been a car accident lawyer in Dallas since 1994. I always offer free consultations for your car accident case.
Take the time to get the proper legal advice so that your case proceeds as smooth as possible. It is always better to know your options before making any decisions.