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Better to see an attorney-referred doctor?

I was injured in a car accident. Should I go to my doctor, or is it better for a lawyer to refer me to a doctor?

- R.G, California

Answer:

I was injured in a car accident. Should I go to my doctor, or is it better for a lawyer to refer me to a doctor?

Answer:

You can do either. One is not better than the other. The most important thing is that you get into a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. The longer the delay before you see someone, the adjuster will use this delay against you to argue that if you were really hurt, you would have treated sooner.

If you have health insurance, it's fine to treat through your health insurance carrier. When your injury claim settles, your health insurance carrier will have a right of reimbursement for any accident-related medical treatment it paid for. If it's an uninsured motorist case, your health insurance carrier generally will not have a right to reimbursement. You will need to check your health insurance contract to be sure.

Sometimes treating through a health insurance carrier can mean lengthy delays and difficulty getting authorization for physical therapy. Also, you may want to treat with a chiropractor, and have no chiropractic coverage under your policy.

If you hire a personal injury lawyer, your attorney can refer you to a doctor who will treat you on a lien, which means that you don't pay the doctor until the case settles and you have received your settlement money. The upside of treating with an attorney-referred medical provider is that you can likely be seen right away, and you can pick a location that's convenient for you.

If you choose to hire our Santa Monica car accident lawyers, we have relationships with medical providers throughout Santa Monica and West Los Angeles. We can generally get you seen the same day you hire our firm or the next day. Contact us today for a free consultation.



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