I called my primary care doctor after my car accident and he won’t see me.
You are injured in a car accident. You do the right thing and call your doctor. A staff member asks you how you were injured. You state that you were injured in a car accident. You are in pain and need help. Then, you are told that your doctor won’t see you because your injury is from a car accident. They might also say that they do not handle “third-party” cases.
Throughout my years as a car accident lawyer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I hear this all the time.
What does this mean? Why won’t my own doctor see me?
Your Doctor Won’t See You Because He 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 other driver. You also have a claim against the other driver’s insurance company and maybe even 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. This may be one reason why your doctor won’t see you.
Your Health Insurance Might Not Pay the Doctor.
Another reason your doctor may not see you is that they think they will not get paid by your health insurance.
Some health insurance companies take the erroneous position that the other driver’s auto insurance should pay for your injuries. But they are wrong. The other driver’s insurance is called “liability insurance.” That type of insurance covers the other driver against liability. Your are not the actual person who is insured under that policy.
But you are the insured person under your health insurance. Therefore, your heath insurance has the primary responsibility to pay for your medical bills. Once they do so, they have the right to seek reimbursement in the event your are entitled to any recovery from the responsible party. This is called subrogation.
However, in order to secure their subrogation claim, your health insurance company will probably ask you for the accident and auto insurance information. Consequently, giving this information to your health insurance can seriously complicate your case. In the meantime, your insurance company may not pay your medical bills related to the accident until they get this information. So, now you are caught in a Catch-22.
As you and your health insurance are trying to sort all this out, your doctor may not be paid for your visit. So, your doctor would rather not waste time dealing with all this, and directs you to see someone else.
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.
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 the benefit of your health. 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 clinic 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 facilities are available throughout the Dallas area, and are willing to see you for your car accident case. 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 calling a car accident lawyer you are taking the first step toward knowing your rights.
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 proceeds smoothly and in your best interests.
Your Lawyer Will Help You Get Medical Treatment.
There are doctors that will provide medical treatment under a “letter of protection” (also referred to as an “LOP”). That means your lawyer will issue a letter on your behalf that the doctor will get paid once your case settles.
However, these doctors will normally only treat you under an LOP if you have a lawyer. That is because the doctor wants to make sure your case is properly handled. Having a lawyer increases the chances that you and your doctors will get paid.
The good thing about an LOP 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 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 that can hurt your case 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.