Insurance and Your Car Accident Doctor: Allies or Enemies?
Posted D. Joseph Chapman on Nov 28, 2013 in Car Accidents
If you have been a hurt in a Pennsylvania car accident, it’s important that you develop a strong working relationship with your doctor as well as with your attorney. Your physician, surgeon, and other specialists who handle your medical recovery can be of immense value as you prepare for a legal battle against an insurance company that is trying to deny your claim.
Six Essential Tips for Working With Your Doctor
There are many ways that you and your physician can work together to strengthen your chances for full compensation from your insurance claim. Here, we list half a dozen key steps that you should keep in mind as you pursue your legal claim:
- Consult your regular doctor soon after the accident occurs – If you required treatment in the emergency room after your Dauphin County car accident, follow up on your care with your regular doctor as directed. If you did not receive emergency care, then it’s important that you contact your doctor for a full evaluation of your physical condition as soon as possible. Some injuries do not display symptoms for days or weeks after the injury. It is important that your medical records show that you diligently sought diagnosis and appropriate treatment from the start.
- Follow through with all later scheduled appointments, tests, and treatments – Follow the guidance your treating physician gives you. This, too, will demonstrate your determination to get better.
- Make sure your doctor understands your legal circumstances – Tell your regular physician that you were injured in a car accident and that you expect to file an insurance claim. He needs to be aware that your medical records and his case notes may eventually be shared with both sides in a lawsuit.
- Deal with your doctor truthfully – Consider that everything you say to your health care providers will be documented and turned over to the insurance company examiners, so don’t minimize your symptoms. Don’t tell a nurse that you “feel fine,” for instance, when you are actually suffering pain or distress. It’s misplaced politeness to try to ignore your medical condition; your medical care team needs an accurate account of how you’re feeling from moment to moment. We’re not advising you to exaggerate your symptoms, but rather to be as precise as possible.
- Trust your doctor as the gatekeeper to other health care experts – Your personal physician is the person best suited to make referrals to surgeons or other specialists that your condition may require.
- Ask for and accept only appropriate treatment for your condition – Just as you want to deal honestly with your doctor, you should not request treatment that will not really help your injuries only to inflate the value of your case. Ultimately, if you accept treatment that isn’t relevant to your diagnosis, the insurance company will use that to reduce your doctor’s credibility; this weakens the support you will get from your doctor’s medical records and testimony.
The Insurance Company Doesn’t Always Get the Final Decision
Insurance companies don’t make money from paying out claims: they profit from collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible. That’s why you can expect a fight on your hands if your Pennsylvania car crash injury claim is a substantial one.
Let Schmidt Kramer help you out. Our car accident attorneys in Harrisburg can work with your doctor to overcome insurance company obstacles and get you the maximum settlement available—or we will take your claim to court and ask the jury for the damage award you deserve. To get started, call us today at 717-888-8888 or 888-476-0807 toll-free to schedule a free, confidential case review. We would also be pleased to send you a free copy of our client brochure, Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured in an Automobile Accident?