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By: Murphy & Murphy

Can an Insurance Company Force Me to See a Doctor They Choose After a Car Accident Injury?

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You may feel that your injuries are insufficient or don’t want to take the time to see a physician after an accident. The problem with that is if you have issues that pop up later, you may have avoided further injury had you been treated immediately.

Several injuries may seem slight initially, but more severe symptoms can occur later. Some are soft tissue injuries (such as whiplash), concussions, or back injuries.

Why Would an Insurance Company Want You to See a Specific Physician?

Remember that insurance company representatives are there to protect their policyholders and their company’s bottom line. They are working on their company’s behalf to establish the facts and work towards paying out compensation as ordered.

One of the ways that they can monitor that the information presented to them is accurate is to verify with their physicians what injuries occurred and if the treatment plan was sufficient for the damages. They will review to ensure exaggeration of the injury or the treatment plan did not occur, thus forcing the insurance to pay more than is necessary for the injuries sustained.

For example, if your family doctor saw you after an accident, determining significant injuries occurred to your back, or soft tissue injuries occurred, and they require substantial physical therapy for these injuries. Suppose the doctor the insurance company works with doesn’t find the injuries to support that same diagnosis. Insurance companies can save themselves from significant costs in compensation if their doctors prescribe less treatment.

That said, this doesn’t mean that your physician shouldn’t see you. Having a second opinion (or first) on your treatment and being treated right away is most important to avoid further issues.

What Steps Should I Take With my Physician?

There are a few steps that you can take to help your situation in the future after an accident. Your trusted physician is seeing the first to determine any unknown injuries or issues. Keep all records after being seen, including the bills, the prescribed medicine or treatment, and any other notes from your doctor about the injuries.

Follow all instructions given by the medical staff. Following the treatment isn’t a suggestion, especially if you are looking into pursuing damages in the future. If you are prescribed treatment and choose not to partake, it can cause further injury, and you may be at risk of not having total compensation based on your choice to not adhere to the prescribed treatment.

Notify your medical providers of any concerning changes in your symptoms or pain levels. There may be something initially missed, and a follow-up may be necessary.

What is an Independent Medical Examination?

An Independent Medical Examination (IME) is typically required in personal injury cases. Insurance companies can require you to receive a second opinion (second to that of your doctor that examined you after the accident) to establish legitimacy.

Sometimes, this is a required step if you file a claim with your Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance. Your policy may require you to complete an IME to ensure that the treatment prescribed to you and the injuries sustained are legitimate.

You have a right to object to information found through the IME. Your injury lawyer can help you to put documents together to dispute the findings of the IME. The data gathered to debate the results may include information from witnesses, all relevant information regarding your doctor’s initial findings, and more.

Which Insurance Company is Responsible for the Damages?

In most cases, if the fault is established that the other driver was responsible for the accident, you will likely pursue compensation through their insurance. In some cases, their insurance may be nonexistent or insufficient. In this case, you may have the opportunity to pursue your insurance policy to make up for the difference in compensation for medical bills and damages to your vehicle.

In some cases, if a commercial vehicle is involved, you may choose to pursue the driver’s insurance company and the company that employs them. An experienced attorney can walk you through all the facts of your accident and help ensure you obtain sufficient compensation.

Contact an Experienced Injury Lawyer

One of the most appealing reasons to contact a lawyer after an accident is that they can take over the details while you are busy healing from your injuries and focusing on getting back to your life. Injury lawyers spend years preparing for cases like these, and they also have the unique perspective of several other cases they have worked on in the past.

If you need to communicate or negotiate with insurance companies, injury lawyers have vast knowledge and can handle these details for you. They can also walk you through the next steps, help you understand what to expect, and more.

Another vital role they play is to help ensure all evidence is gathered. They can work with any witnesses you have identified, gather facts regarding the accident scene, and work with accident recreation specialists to further establish fault or negligence in the accident.

They can also gather pertinent records for your case, whether that be the police report, medical records, and any other data that will support your case.

Contact our office at (702) 369-9696 to speak with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys. We have several years of combined experience and are confident we can help you, too.