Ontario crash victims should never put off medical treatment. Waiting to seek treatment can allow your injuries to become more serious.
Waiting to seek treatment also plants seeds of doubt in the minds of those who work at your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They may begin to question if you were injured in the crash or because of something that happened later.
The question is, where should you go for treatment? What about after your initial treatment? Should you inform your primary care/family doctor?
Greg Monforton and Partners’ experienced lawyers answer these and other questions about treatment after a car accident in Ontario.
Call for legal assistance: (866) 320-4770. No upfront fees.
Where to go Right After the Crash
If you have a family/primary care doctor, they should be involved in your post-accident treatment. However, this doctor might not be the first one you see after the accident, especially if it is an emergency. For example, some victims have no choice in where they are taken because they are seriously injured or even unconscious. The ambulance arrives and transports the victim to the nearest hospital to provide stabilizing or even life-saving treatment.
While your primary care doctor may be able to provide treatment right after the crash, many victims go to the local urgent care or emergency department for treatment. This is often best because these facilities are more likely to have the capability to treat a wide variety of injuries. For example, you might need an MRI or X-ray and your primary care doctor might not have the capability to do that.
Anyone who has a health card can get treatment at an urgent care clinic or walk-in clinic.
One of the most important things for Ontario accident victims to remember is that lawyers and judges place significant focus on records provided by your family doctor. If the doctor’s notes and results of tests the doctor ordered indicate a serious injury, it will be harder for insurers to dispute the existence of an injury. That means your primary care/family doctor is one of the most important people involved in your treatment.
You can think of your family doctor as the point person in your treatment. You go to him or her first and he or she can help to direct the rest of your treatment. For example, your primary care physician can prescribe medication or refer you to a specialist. Your doctor can also send you for testing, such as an MRI, X-ray or CT scan. If you have a brain injury or chronic pain, your doctor may be able to refer you to a pain clinic or brain injury program.
You may be thinking that your primary care doctor is just a general practitioner, and it would be better to go to a specialist first. However, specialists like physiotherapists or chiropractors should not be used as substitutes for family doctors or the nurse practitioner who is your primary care physician.
Your family doctor may be able to refer you to another doctor for a second opinion.
Will I Need a Medical Specialist?
You will probably need to see a medical specialist during your treatment after an Ontario car crash. You need to see someone who specializes in treating injuries like yours that involve a particular area or system in the body. Often, these specialists are recommended by the crash victim’s primary doctor.
The opinions of specialists involved in your treatment are just as important, and sometimes more important, than the opinions of your family doctor. If you have a knee injury, the opinion of an orthopedist is going to carry significant weight in your claim for compensation. Some of the other specialists who can provide important evidence for your claim include:
- And more
However, all specialists are not viewed the same by the liable insurance companies. For example, a physiotherapist cannot provide an official diagnosis of your injury. He or she may provide important treatment and you should be able to include the cost of your treatment in your compensation claim.
What if I do not Have a Family Doctor?
You can put your name on a waitlist to get assigned a family doctor or nurse practitioner. In the meantime, you can go to an emergency department or urgent care clinic. It is important to go to the same clinic for follow-up appointments. Your records will show that you have continued to go to the same clinic over and over. This helps give some weight to these records.
The doctors who work at these clinics can refer you to specialists and do the other things a family doctor or primary care physician can.
What About the Insurance Company’s Preferred Clinics?
Insurance companies have lists of clinics they would prefer claimants to visit. The insurance company may say they just want to help make your treatment easier. However, their main goal is for you to be evaluated by doctors who will reach conclusions that favor the insurance company. It is usually best to ignore these lists and go to the clinic that can provide the treatment you need.
How do I Find the Right Rehab Clinic For My Needs?
There are two main factors in choosing a clinic to provide treatment after a car crash:
- Proximity to where you live
- Ability to bill insurance correctly
You do not want to pick a clinic that is too far away from where you live. If you do, you may be less likely to go get treatment. Not only is a long drive a waste of your time, but it also wastes gas, which costs money. Given the financial crises that often result after a car crash, there is no reason to add additional expenses.
The other factor to consider is whether the clinic knows how to bill insurance companies correctly. If the clinic staff do not know how to bill insurance companies, they may try to get you to pay out of pocket for your treatment.
Your lawyer may be able to help you find a clinic to provide the treatment you need. They may also be able to recommend specialists.
Call For Assistance With the Car Crash Legal Process
It is completely normal to have a lot of questions after suffering an injury in a car crash. Our experienced Windsor-based vehicle crash lawyers are available to answer those questions and provide the guidance you need.
Our lawyers have been filing insurance claims and lawsuits for decades, securing full compensation for victims of many types of crashes. We work on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees or legal obligations with our services. We are not paid for representing you unless you are compensated for your injuries and damages.
Experienced Lawyers. No Upfront Fees. Call us at (866) 320-4770.