What Doctor Should You See After Your Car Accident?
Following an Auto Accident, you should always follow up and see a doctor who specializes in treating motor vehicle injuries.
This may include a chiropractor, pain management, and/or orthopedic or rehabilitative medicine doctor. These doctors have experience and training in diagnosing and treating the types of injuries you may have. They also treat these injuries on a daily basis, and therefore, they can find injuries that other physicians might miss.
It is very important to make sure you see a doctor, like a chiropractor, who specializes in the treatment of accident injuries. You wouldn’t go to a personal injury attorney for advice on tax law? So why would you trust your neck or back injuries to a doctor who doesn’t treat the same.
Under Florida law, an accident victim cannot recover for their pain and suffering or inconvenience or emotional distress (All of which most folks have) unless a doctor states under oath that the person has suffered a “Permanent Injury.” The doctor must certify the injury is permanent pursuant to the American Medical Association guidelines.
This is why it is so, so important to follow the doctor’s instructions and to treat as directed. Simply, a doctor will not certify that you have a permanent injury unless they see and treat you, and unless you have treated enough that they are confident enough to put their name and reputation on the line to affirmatively state that you are permanently injured. When the doctor states the same, you have reached what is known as “Maximum Medical Improvement.”
Simply, if you do not intend to seek treatment or do not want to treat, then you do not have a claim that an attorney can effectively present to an insurance adjuster or in Court.
Note – There are certain injuries which automatically qualify as a “Permanent Injury” under Florida Law, so that you are entitled to Pain and Suffering type damages without a diagnosis of the same from a physician. They included fractured bones and scarring or disfigurement. However, usually when a person suffers these significant injuries, they have had to have undergone significant medical treatment for the same.
“TIP” – Make sure to tell your doctors about all prior and preexisting injuries you had before the accident. If at all possible, you should gather your prior medical records from those prior accidents/injuries if possible and give them to your physician. Your attorney should be able to help you with this.
This is so important, and we talk about this in a Free Report from our office called “How the Insurance Company will Stop at Nothing to Beat You in Your Auto Accident Case.” What the insurance company does is they bet that you will forget some minor injury you had to your neck or back or injured body part. They will then go through a claims database or all of your prior medical records and history and try to show that you purposely lied when you didn’t disclose a prior injury to them.
This strategy is often unsuccessful in getting your claim dismissed, but it can be successful in making you look very bad in front of the judge who makes important decisions on your case, or with your doctor.
So to avoid the Insurance Trap, simply tell your doctor and your attorney everything!
Knowledge Equals Power in Orlando Auto Accident Cases
When your treatment is complete, the Doctors will prepare final narrative reports, which summarize your injuries, course of treatment, any impairments you might have as a result of the accident and your prognosis for the future and recovery. That is usually when your accident attorney goes to work on attempting to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.