How to Find a Doctor to Treat Your Auto Accident Injuries Once You’ve Selected the Right Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer to Represent You
Nothing is more important than your good health. Without it you can’t take care of loved ones or enjoy your life to its fullest. Unfortunately, an auto accident can suddenly put your good health in jeopardy and can leave you with permanent injuries. The best way to avoid having permanent injuries as a result of a Tampa automobile accident is to make sure that you get immediate, adequate and appropriate medical attention. A Tampa car accident attorney can provide you the immediate guidance you may need at no intial cost to you since auto accident lawyers generally work on contingency. This means there is no fee to you unless you hire the personal injury attorney and there is a settlement in the future.
This article addresses a number of the issues that car accident attorneys would likely discuss with you after a car accident takes place regarding getting medical care for your injuries. Certainly, it can be very confusing where to go for immediate treatment for your injuries. Obviously, the hospital emergency room may be the most appropriate place to begin your treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident if the injuries are serious. Many people will try to save money by taking themselves to the emergency room from the accident scene rather than going there by ambulance. That could be acceptable, but it may take time to find someone to immediately drive you to the emergency room. Also, it may be better for you to receive immediate treatment from the ambulance paramedics at the scene. Don’t allow attempts to save money jeopardize your health. At the scene of a car accident, you may be disoriented or pumped full of adrenaline. This makes making good decisions difficult. So at the car accident scene, auto accident attorneys advise that you listen to the advice of others including the ambulance paramedics and err on the side of caution when making the decision whether to have the ambulance take you to the hospital.
Emergency rooms are designed to treat people for their acute car accident injuries. Unless your injuries are acute enough to warrant staying at the hospital, you will be released after your examination and told to follow up with your doctor. If it was necessary for you to see a specialist at the emergency room, you may be given the contact information for that medical specialist after leaving the emergency room and told to follow up with the specialist after a few days. More often, you are left on your own to get medical attention for your injuries after leaving the hospital’s care.
So who do you go see after you leave the hospital? Your car accident lawyer can advise you based on a number of factors, including what type of insurance coverage you have. The first source of insurance coverage for car accident injuries is personal injury protection or PIP. PIP pays for the first $10,000 worth of medical bills that you might incur after a Tampa or Clearwater auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. Assuming that your visit to the emergency room did not exhaust your PIP benefits of $10,000, you would be free to go to any doctor that is willing to accept PIP benefits.
Unfortunately, because the insurance companies have made it very difficult for doctors’ offices to get paid from PIP, many doctors do not accept PIP insurance. In addition, many doctors refuse to treat car accident injury patients altogether. One reason for this is that the doctor may be concerned that one day they could be asked to provide deposition testimony or appear in court should it be necessary that the case be litigated. It can be frustrating, especially while dealing with the issues of getting your car repaired and experiencing pain from you r injuries, to search for a doctor that will accept PIP. In addition, when it comes to your health, you want to be sure to find a medical provider with an excellent reputation for treating car accident injuries. A Tampa accident attorney may be best able to provide you guidance at this time of stress. Having worked with many clients in similar situations, an experienced accident attorney can make appropriate recommendations to you.
It’s very important that you don’t allow the frustrations of finding a doctor to treat you for your accident injuries delay your treatment. This can have consequences to your health most importantly, but also to the ability of your Tampa car accident lawyer to obtain just compensation for you. Adjusters and defense attorneys will often use any delay in treatment to say that the injuries were not a result of the car accident, but some intervening cause.
But what happens if your PIP insurance is exhausted by your visit to the emergency room. Transportation to the hospital by bay flight can cost as much as $12,000 so that your PIP is exhausted even before your arrival at the emergency room. In those situations, your auto accident attorney will advise that you that have a choice between using your health insurance or a letter of protection (L OP). A Letter of protection is similar to a credit card between your law firm and the medical provider. It promises that if there is a settlement one day that the medical provider will be paid from the settlement funds. It may seem that if health insurance benefits are available that is a better way to pay for medical treatment. Unfortunately, your health insurance benefits may not cover the type of doctors you need to see and/or the deductibles amounts may be something that you cannot afford. This can be especially true if your injuries have affected your ability to work.
A car accident attorney can assist you in determining what doctors are most appropriate for you to see and receive treatment from after your accident. In addition to the factors discussed above, the accident lawyer will consider where you live, work and the available methods of payment.
Many people believe that it is most appropriate to see their primary doctor after a Tampa auto accident. But primary doctors, although they will be very familiar with your medical condition in general, are often not experienced in treating typical auto accident injuries which can include injury to the jaw, neck, back and cause symptoms such as severe headaches and pain in various places in the body. Primary care physicians are often more experienced in the treatment of other types of medical conditions that are unrelated to car accidents. Often people will be frustrated when they visit their primary care doctor for treatment of car accident injuries only to be referred to another clinic, physical therapist or chiropractor.
Sometimes, it may be most appropriate to see a chiropractor. There's certainly a lot of controversy with regard to chiropractic care. Some people swear by chiropractic care and others swear that they will never allow themselves to be treated by one. This is a personal decision that should be made by you and not your auto accident attorney. Our law firm would be guided by your feelings about chiropractic care in making any type of recommendation. Certainly, chiropractors can have their place in the treatment of auto accident injuries. But just like professionals in any other area, some chiropractors are much better than others. It's important that your treatment is done by a chiropractor considered to be one of the very best in their profession.
It is also important to choose a chiropractor or any other medical doctor for that matter that is near your home or work. It is important because if you have significant injuries from a car accident, it is likely that you're going to need continued treatment. This treatment may require that you visit the medical provider two or three times a week. If that is true, it will be important that the medical providers’ facilities are near your home or work. Otherwise you may be more likely to miss important treatment sessions or jeopardize your job as you struggle to balance work with keeping your doctor appointments.
While often chiropractors can be useful in resolving more minor injuries and are an important firststep in evaluating and treating even more serious injuries, there may come a point in your treatment that is necessary to see a specialist. Before that time, while under the care of the chiropractor, you may very well have received various diagnostic tests that the chiropractor would order for you. These diagnostic tests may include nerve conduction studies, x‐rays and MRIs. The specialist will examine you and review the results of your diagnostic studies in formulating an opinion about your treatment options. The specialist may ask questions regarding the treatment you received before your visit to them and ask whether you found such treatment helpful or not.
The type of specialist that would be appropriate to see is something that you would discuss with your chiropractor as well as your Tampa car accident lawyer. The type of specialists that people injured in car accidents, whether they occur in Tampa, Riverview, Brandon or any other city in the Tampa Bay area, will often need to see, include orthopedic doctors, neurologists, neurosurgeons and pain management specialists.
For example, if you suffer from injuries related to the spine, it may be appropriate for you to see an orthopedic doctor. Many people believe orthopedic doctors only treat broken bones or joint issues involving the knees, hips or shoulders. But there are many orthopedics that specialize only in spine injuries. Often, these specialists are confused with neurosurgeons. While neurosurgeons also treat spinal injuries, neurosurgeons also treat brain injuries as well.
If seeing a chiropractor first for treatment of your injuries from a Tampa auto accident is not possible or not preferred, it may be appropriate to try and find a medical doctor to treat you. But as with primary doctors, many medical doctors also do not know how or have much experience in treating car accident injury victims. Therefore, it is very important that you consult with your Tampa car accident attorney for help in identifying the appropriate medical doctor who can provide you the type of care that you need.
As you continue your treatment for your injuries, is very important that you continue to discuss your medical condition and treatment with the personal injury attorneys that represent you. Because your condition may change, getting either better or worse, and because sometimes symptoms may not appear for a period of time after the car accident, a continuous dialogue is necessary. Also, it will be important to take into account the financial issues when making you decisions about who would be most appropriate to receive treatment from and your auto accident lawyer is in a position to provide you information about that. Also, there may be a point in time in your treatment that you feel your progress has plateaued and that a change is warranted. If that should happen to you, you should have that dialogue with your car accident attorney to discuss your various treatment alternatives.
Finally, a Tampa car accident attorney can be very useful in discussing your treatment options with you. Experienced auto accident attorneys have had many discussions with regard to similar injuries with both medical professionals and other clients. That experience should be taken advantage of by you so that you can receive the very best medical treatment available with hope of a quick recovery and the goal completing your treatment without having to endure any permanent injuries. At the law firm of Dale Appell, PA, we are experienced car accident attorneys serving injured clients in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon and other cities throughout the Tampa Bay area. We believe in having that level of communication with our clients that leads to the best possible outcome not only in terms of settlement dollars but also that very important matter of your health.
If you're looking for excellent and caring personal injury representation, contact us. We look forward to speaking with you.