Most of the time, after an accident, people will go and see their primary care physician. Though it is always a good idea to be seen by a doctor, you will oftentimes find that your primary care physician will not treat you for the injuries you have sustained in a car accident.
Why Your Primary Care Physician May Not Treat You
Some primary care physicians will see you and treat you for your injuries, but they will expect and require you to pay for your medical bills upfront. This is because they do their third-party billing to medical insurance companies and not through the auto insurance companies. Your primary care physician also won’t bill on medical or attorney liens. These liens are documents that state that the doctor will be paid for their services when your personal injury case settles. Many primary care physicians won’t see you on these liens because it means they will have to wait longer to be paid. An “average” soft tissue injury case settles within 6-9 months, depending on litigation, and the doctor will be paid from the health insurance providers within 90 days of settling. So instead, they prefer to be paid upfront.
Though most primary care physicians have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to soft tissue, they generally do not treat patients who have suffered from soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in your neck, back, and other parts of your body. Being involved in a car accident usually forces them outside of their normal range, which would turn into the following:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Tingling sensations running through the arms, fingers, legs, etc.
- Muscle weakness
These types of injuries need special care and documentation and not all primary care physicians have the ability to document such cases. For example, these injuries do not typically show up on x-rays.
Other reasons your family doctor may refuse to see or treat you is due to litigation. Sometimes car accident cases cannot be settled through mediation and end up going to trial.
What to do Next
We know it can be stressful that your primary care physician will not treat you for your injuries, but rest assured, there are physicians who specialize in treating those who have been injured in car accidents. Seeing a specialist for your injuries after an accident is very important and this is for the following reasons:
- They will get a detailed history of what happened to you in the accident
- Detailed history of any pre-existing injuries or conditions you may have
- List numerous types of medical test they performed such as range of motion, nerve compression tests, etc.
- If they ordered specialized MRI’s, X-RAYS, digital motion X-RAYS, etc.
- Prescriptions to physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational rehab, etc.
- If they sent you to other specialists who may evaluate you for surgery or pain management
- Key information about what caused your injuries, such as the car cash and if it aggravated your pre-existing conditions
- They explain whether your injuries are “permanent” or not, if you will have them from the rest of your life or not
- What your future medical needs will be
- What effect your injuries will have on your ability to work, live life, or perform necessary daily activities.
How to Find a Doctor After Your Accident
You will want to find a doctor that specializes in the type of injury you sustained. You will need to do a little research on doctors who understand the importance of documenting the causes and long term effects your injuries have on you. Here are some tips:
- Avoid doctors from Legal Referral Services: this is because they usually specialize in using no-fault PIP insurance benefits more than focusing on your injuries.
- These referral services tend to have bad reputations within the insurance industry and oftentimes if the insurance company sees these injury mills, they will offer you less money for your injuries.
- Tell every specialist and doctor you see, all about your prior injuries: hiding pre-existing injuries or conditions will not only hurt your credibility but also what you recover from your accident.
The most important thing for you to do is seek medical treatment for your injuries. And the quality of the physician you see is just as important as the quality in your recovery. If you need help on how to find a doctor after your car accident, you can always contact a personal injury lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys; we will be happy to refer you to the number of specialists we have worked with over the years.
If you have been injured in an accident and need representation, please contact us today. Consultations are free!