Decisions about your medical treatment after a car crash should be based on what is best for your health and well-being. It is also important that victims trust they are getting the appropriate treatment.
If you are unsure about one doctor’s treatment plan, you may think about changing doctors, or at least getting another opinion. You may be concerned about how getting a second opinion might affect your claim for compensation.
However, you are within your rights to get a second opinion about your treatment. This is a better idea than stopping treatment because you do not think it is working or you think there are better treatment options. If you stop treatment, it could hurt the value of your claim – the insurance company could argue you stopped treatment because you are healed, or your injuries are not that severe.
If you suffered an injury in a car crash, Greg Monforton and Partners’ Windsor auto accident lawyers are here to help at no upfront cost to you. Schedule a free legal consultation today.
Why Victims May Disagree With Their Doctors
Crash victims may want a second opinion because they:
- Disagree with the treatment recommended by the doctor
- May have been misdiagnosed
- Have worsening symptoms and the doctor is not taking that into account
- Think the doctor is not taking their injuries seriously enough
- Would feel more comfortable if another doctor confirmed the first doctor’s diagnosis
Disagree With the Treatment Plan
Sometimes there is more than one way to treat an injury. For example, it may be possible to treat an injury by performing surgery or through physical therapy. There are pros and cons with different treatment options and victims may be more comfortable with one treatment option over another.
While one doctor may recommend surgery, another may say surgery is unnecessary or has too many risks. Sometimes surgery is risky, and it may not help that much.
Each situation is unique and must be assessed on its own. Doctors can factor in the severity of your injury, your age, previous surgeries and other factors.
Your doctor should be working with you to determine the best course of action. He or she should be listening to your concerns and answering your questions about treatment. If he or she is not doing that, it can cause patients to think about getting a second opinion.
Sometimes doctors misdiagnose patients, including patients who were injured in car accidents. There can be many reasons for this. For example, a lot of adrenaline gets released into your body after a car crash. This could mask some of the pain from your injuries.
An internal injury might not cause severe symptoms right away. It might take a few hours or days for you to notice something is seriously wrong.
The doctor you see right after the crash might misdiagnose your injuries and say they are not that serious, even though they might get much worse in the hours and days ahead.
Doctor is Not Accounting for Worsening Symptoms
Unfortunately, there are some doctors who do not listen to what their patients are telling them. They may not adjust their diagnosis based on the patient reporting new or worsening symptoms. The doctor may say the patient is exaggerating.
Your pain and other symptoms may be severe, but your doctor might only be recommending over-the-counter medications, even though prescription medication might help you. You may need physical therapy, but the doctor may be telling you it is unnecessary.
Some injured victims are not as open about their injuries and their symptoms as they should be. They may have failed to mention some of their symptoms or other details about the accident. If you go back to the doctor and reveal other symptoms, the doctor might think you are exaggerating.
Need Another Opinion for Peace of Mind
Sometimes the first doctor is taking the right course of action, but it may be helpful to meet with another doctor to hear him or her say your injuries are being treated appropriately. This can give you some peace of mind and may make it easier for you to continue following the doctor’s orders.
Could the Insurance Company Use This Against You?
Yes, the insurance company may try to use a second opinion against you, especially if the second doctor says your injuries are more severe than originally thought. The insurance company may say you are hunting for a diagnosis that requires more expensive treatment, so you can inflate the value of your claim. They may claim you are lying and exaggerating about your symptoms.
That is why you should strongly consider hiring a lawyer because he or she knows how to fight back against these insurance company tactics. There is nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion. The important thing is to continue your treatment until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement.
Insurance Company Request for an Independent Medical Exam
You could think of an insurance company’s request for an independent medical exam (IME) as a request for a second opinion about your injuries. The insurance company wants an opinion from a doctor who is not treating you.
While the doctor who performs an IME is supposed to be unbiased, these doctors often reach conclusions that favor the insurance company. They may say your injuries are not as serious as you and your treating doctor claim they are. They may use this argument when denying or undervaluing your claim.
It is important to seek experienced legal help before agreeing to or attending an IME. Our lawyers can explain how to protect your claim during an independent medical exam.
Contact Greg Monforton and Partners Today
For more than three decades, our firm has been advocating for those who were injured in car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and a variety of other incidents. Our goal is to obtain compensation for the damages our clients have suffered, from medical expenses and lost wages to pain and suffering and more. We have a proven record, recovering $300 million in compensation.
Call us today to schedule a free legal consultation. This is a chance to discuss what happened and find out more about how we can help you throughout the legal process.
Experienced lawyers. No upfront costs or fees. Call (866) 320-4770.