Law firms and doctor’s offices often interact on a daily basis. There is usually a need for a lawyer to call upon a doctor as a medical expert in his specific field, or if he has treated a patient for injuries and must provide evidence or testimony. Although doctors are an integral part of many lawsuits, they should not be considered the crucial point of evidence, and they should not have a shady connection with your attorney. You may be dubious or unsure of the relationship between your lawyer and the doctor they recommend you to see, and sometimes, your misgivings can be completely correct. If you feel that your lawyer is misrepresenting you and is forcing you to a see a doctor for his own benefits, contact the Downtown LA Law Group today. We will give your case a second look and help you understand the direction your accident claim may go.
Why should I see a doctor after an accident?
One of the first steps you should take after suffering injuries in an accident is to go to the doctor to get medical treatment. You may need to be rushed to the hospital in some scenarios, such as in severe car accidents that leave you with heavy trauma and breaks. You may be able to take yourself to urgent care as well for treatment, such as X-rays or medication.
It is important that you do not wait too long to go to the doctor, though. If you delay treatment, you may greatly compromise your claim. The insurance agent handling the case could look at the gap between the alleged date of the incident and injury and the date of the medical procedure and determine that you were not seriously hurt. After all, bad injuries would require immediate treatment, so he would believe that you were hurt in another incident and you were trying to use the previous occurrence as the reason. Further, if you wait too long to get treatment, you run the risk of worsening your injuries. Some damages need to be addressed immediately, and if you fail to see a doctor, they could lead to more dire results, like infections, settled bones, proclivity to additional accidents in the future, and more.
If you go to your attorney after an accident, he may recommend that you see a doctor for treatment. You will not be able to file a personal injury claim if you did not sustain physical injuries, and the best way to prove that you were hurt is to get medical treatment. You can hold on to the medical receipts, doctor’s notes, medication or prescription slips, referrals, X-rays, MRI results, and more as proof.
Why does my lawyer want me to go to his recommended doctor?
We get questions like this all the time at our law firm. Clients have asked:
- Why is my attorney recommending me to see a back doctor?
- Why does my lawyer want me to see an orthopedic doctor?
- Why does my attorney want me to go to a pain management doctor?
- Why is my lawyer recommending a spinal cord doctor?
- Why does my lawyer want me to see a surgeon?
Some lawyers do sincerely believe that their preferred medical centers are the most effective and generate the best results for their clients. Unfortunately, more often than not, the lawyers and doctors have some kind of agreement set up between them. The lawyer may refer clients to the doctor’s office, and the doctor may refer patients to the law firm. This can be mutually beneficial for both because of certain dealings and agreements.
For example, if a lawyer believes that a patient is injured but not too injured that his settlement would not be large (and therefore, not lucrative for the lawyer to take on the case), he may refer him to his preferred doctor. The doctor may conduct numerous tests and perform different procedures to increase the cost of the medical treatment, which would make it a larger sum when the insurance agent sees the bill. The doctor would claim that the injuries necessitated the treatment.
As a result, the settlement may increase from a small sum to a six-figure amount. The attorney would earn a certain percentage of the total settlement, and from his amount, he may give the doctor a cut for the support.
Why is it a problem to see my lawyer’s recommended doctor?
There can be a huge conflict of interest if you go to the doctor as recommended by your lawyer. The doctor may be a specialist in another area and mistreat or misdiagnose you, for one, and your health should be of paramount importance. You should go to the best doctor for your injuries, not the best doctor for your lawyer’s pockets.
The other issue stems from the pattern that may have been established prior to you even getting in an accident. Some attorneys may consistently use the same doctor or doctors to provide expert medical testimony. They may take on all of a lawyer’s clients and treat them similarly. If the insurance agent (or jury, if the case goes to trial) notices this pattern, he could bring it up and launch an investigation.
Of course, it is possible that your lawyer had innocuous intentions with referring you a doctor of his preference. However, the opposing side will still act as if there are ulterior motives and schemes occurring. They will point out the referral and say that it is likely that there is an agreement of some kind between the law firm and the medical office, or that there is likely going to be an exchange after the case. They may allege insurance fraud and scamming.
To avoid these possible pitfalls with your case, simply do not go to the doctor that your attorney recommends. You should stick to your primary care physician or family doctor, if possible, for additional treatment.
Should I get a second opinion on my personal injury accident lawsuit?
It is always up to you how you want your case to proceed, whether you want to continue or drop it or agree on a low offer. Because it is your case, you should always be as informed as possible, even if you do not understand the law or if you are not familiar with the legal process. Many victims will go to law firms and believe that they are stuck with that attorney and that they cannot switch. This is incorrect – you can always speak to someone else and have your case transferred.
You should pursue a second opinion from both lawyers and doctors. It may not be because of some mistrust; you may simply want to confirm a diagnosis or you may want to be sure that your case is actually valued at the amount your attorney said it was.
A second opinion can benefit your case in many ways if you have uncertainties about your current situation, too. You may have signed up with a firm that is known for its shady behavior, and a second opinion from another attorney can show you the real motives.
We believe that every client is entitled to transparency and honesty about his case, and he should be given the fairest representation available. This is why we will always give you a truthful second opinion about your case, whether it’s a car accident lawsuit, slip and fall lawsuit, or other kind of injury claim.
The Right Firm for You
It is important that you go to a law firm that cares about you and puts your needs first. The Downtown LA Law Group always places our clients at the forefront of our priorities list, and we make sure to give you the best treatment we can. We treat every client like family, and our attorneys are empathetic and caring, no matter how severe or minor your injuries. We are known for being aggressive and for always pursuing every penny of the compensation you deserve, even going to court if we have to in order to defend your rights.
For a free legal consultation or a second opinion on your accident claim, contact our firm. We can tell you if we believe your lawyer is acting in your best interests or if he appears to have other motives. We will tell you how we feel your case should unfold or what its actual value is. If you have any questions about your lawsuit, personal injury law, or your current attorney, feel free to ask us.
If you switch over to our firm, we will give you our zero fee guarantee. This is a promise that states that we will never ask you or require you to pay for our services. We will have our expenses paid by the responsible party, and only in the event that we win. The fees will be taken as a portion of the settlement that is awarded. If we lose, we do not take anything at all, and we eat the costs of the case while your finances remain untouched.
For a second opinion on your case or to learn why your lawyer is recommending you to a doctor, contact the Downtown LA Law Group today.