While you may have health care benefits and a primary care provider, it’s important to be selective about your choice of physician when it comes to diagnosis and treatment of your injuries after you’ve been injured in a car crash. Your insurance benefits resulting from a personal injury claim allow you to choose whatever kind of care you feel is best, whether that is traditional medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic or something else. While the core objective is for you to heal and get back to your normal life, this choice can also affect the value of your personal injury claim.
We advise clients to choose a health care provider who will take your injuries seriously and who will advocate for their full, speedy recovery. To illustrate the importance of this, and how it can affect the value of your car accident claim after a car crash, let’s look at an example.
On one hand, one doctor sees the patient in 7 follow up visits after initial diagnosis and treatment of a soft tissue injury after an accident. As a result of those visits, he prescribes timely physical therapy sessions, which the patient attends until the injury has healed and she is able to return to work.
A different doctor sees a patient with the exact same soft tissue injuries. His treatment advice is for the patient to take some over the counter pain medication and to schedule an appointment in a month or so if the problem persists. No follow ups. No physical therapy.
There are many reasons why the second doctor might provide such marginal care. It might be the policy of his clinic to treat such cases in this way in order to minimize costs. He might also be aligned politically or financially with insurance companies. If so, his interest is in minimizing the cost to the insurance company, not providing the best care to get you back on your feet.
Whatever the reason, a jury might think that the victim in the second scenario was never injured at all when, in fact, he suffered the same soft tissue injuries as the person in the first case and due to the lack of care took longer to recover. This can make it very difficult to prove damages and that’s the way insurance companies evaluate damages too – mostly based on doctor bills and treatment. You could argue that the person who got the inadequate care and suffered through it deserves a higher amount but unfortunately that is not how the jury sees it.
So we encourage our clients to select health care providers who will take their injuries and recovery seriously. Having an attorney involved at an early stage after a car crash in Salem Oregon can help with this, as well as many other facets of the case that can have a big effect on the value of your claim. If you’ve been injured in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, contact the Law Offices of Brian Whitehead today for a complimentary case evaluation.