Every car accident ends in one of three ways: you walk away unhurt, you're rushed to the emergency room, or you suffer injuries that land you somewhere in the middle. Often, accident victims will decline a trip in an ambulance, opting instead to drive themselves to their doctor later that afternoon or the next day. But what kind of doctor should you see?
Start With Your Primary Care Physician
Some common post-accident complaints include headaches, soreness and stifness. Your primary care physician will use a physical to evaluate your injuries and make a diagnosis. From there, they'll suggest an action plan to help you heal.
Sometimes, your initial injuries won't seem as serious as they really are. I've had clients who started with a sore neck or back but ended up needing surgery to recover. Your doctor, depending on your diagnosis, will be the one to refer you to specialists (like chiropractors or surgeons) if needed.
- Read why it's important to be a good patient. Hint: it's not all about your health!
What If My Primary Care Doctor Won't See Me?
Unfortunately, many family doctors will refuse to see their patients if they've been involved in a wreck. I know this is frustrating - as an injury attorney, I get calls all the time from accident victims who just don't understand why their doctors won't take care of their needs. I'd estimate about half of Fort Worth's physicians will refuse a patient who's been in a wreck.
Why? Doctors are afraid that they won't be paid for their services. Since car accident victims use auto insurance to pay for their medical bills, there's a chance that the claim will be denied and the doctor will be out of luck. They don't want to take the risk, so they refuse accident victims altogether.
If your primary care doctor won't see you, you can visit the emergency room or try the "pop up" hospitals like Care Now. Just know that these places will require payment upfront. If you have health insurance, use it - that way, you'll only have to pay a copay or deductable and you can (hopefully) get reimbursed by insurance later.
Think it's unfair that you should be using your health insurance when the accident was someone else's fault? It's a complaint I hear a lot from accident victims, but there are a few good reasons you should do it. I've written extensively on the subject here:
A Personal Injury Attorney Will Use an LOP to Get You Treatment
If you don't have health insurance or aren't willing to use your own upfront, it's time to consult a personal injury attorney. They'll use a letter of protection (LOP) to get you the medical help you need at no upfront cost to you.
An LOP is an agreement between your lawyer and your doctor promising that your medical care will be paid for. It gives the doctor assurance that they can treat you without worrying about the outcome of your personal injury claim.
If you've been hurt in an accident and you have high insurance deductables or no insurance at all, you might not be able to afford to wait until your insurance claim is resolved and the settlement money is in your pocket. You need help now, and an attorney can help you get it.
Hurt in the Fort Worth area? Contact the Anderson Law Firm to set up your free consltation today. 817-294-1900.
If you have questions regarding your medical care, please call us for a no-obligation, free consultation. You can also order our book called 15 Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Texas Accident Case. This book provides valuable information to victims of car wrecks.