You've been injured in an auto accident and want to know what type of doctor you should see.
Many factors go into determining the type of doctor you should treat with after a car accident, including the severity of your injuries, your symptoms, and the severity of the impact to your car.
If the damage to your car was significant and you are suffering serious, constant pain, maybe even radiating numbness and tingling in your arms or legs, we would immediately refer you to an orthopedist or neurologist.
If the damage to your car was minor, and you're in pain, but it's not constant or severe pain, perhaps a chiropractor would suffice.
Here's why the damage to your car is a factor to consider in determining the type of medical provider you should see: if the damage to your car and the car that hit you are not significant, the insurance company will label your claim as a "minor impact" and it'll be an uphill battle to get the insurance company ever to offer you any significant money on your injury claim. Unless other factors warrant a referral to a medical specialist (orthopedist, neurologist, or pain management), we are cautious in referring our clients to a medical provider who's bill they may never be able to pay.
One factor which would warrant a referral to a medical specialist, even in a minor impact case, would be if our client was an "eggshell," i.e., he or she had suffered a prior injury which made them more vulnerable and which was exacerbated by the car accident.
Some attorneys refer every client to an orthopedist or other specialist, who will immediately order an MRI of the neck or back, or a nerve conduction study of the upper or lower body. These tests may in fact be appropriate, but not in every client's case. They are expensive tests, and part of our job as your attorney is to look out for you, and make sure you don't incur medical bills that the settlement won't cover.
Every case is unique. At McGee, Lerer & Associates, in deciding the type of medical provider referral to make to our clients, we spend extensive time talking to our clients about their injuries from the accident, how their body moved on impact, the damage to their car, the location of the impact on their car, and their prior medical history. All factors are considered in deciding the appropriate type of medical provider to see.
If you've been injured in a car, truck, motorcycle or
bicycle accident, call the lawyers at McGee, Lerer & Associates, a Santa Monica personal injury law firm: (800) 999-9948. If you hire us, we do not get paid until your case settles - there are no up-front costs. Attorneys Daniel McGee or Catherine Lerer are available 24-7 for a free consultation.