How to Choose a Doctor or Medical Clinic After a Car Accident

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When you are injured in a car crash, you may need emergency medical treatment, surgeries, ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and other care. Knowing who to turn to can be difficult.

In many cases, you won’t be able to choose who treats you in an emergency.  If you are able to, you can tell the ambulance crew which hospital you’d like to be taken to, but the current capacity of each facility, how severe your injuries are, and which facility is closest might force the EMTs to make certain decisions.  However, follow-up care can typically be done with a physician or other health care provider of your choice, and your attorney can help you choose the right one to use.

For a free case evaluation after a car accident, contact the Westchester car accident lawyers at The Martello Law Firm today at (914) 685-6950.  Our attorneys can help coordinate your care and direct you to physicians who will care about your recovery.

Do I Get to Choose My Doctor After a Car Accident?

In most emergency cases, you might not be able to choose who gives you the immediate treatment you need.  However, you can typically seek treatment from any doctor after the fact.  There may be other restrictions you have to put up with regarding whether a doctor will take a case involving a potential lawsuit, whether payment will be accepted from your auto insurance, and whether your medical insurance covers that doctor.

Emergency Care

After an accident, EMTs and ambulance crews typically need to take patients to the nearest hospital capable of treating their injuries.  This sometimes means you cannot choose which hospital you go to, and EMTs might even need to take you further than you expected if the closest hospital is full or does not have the proper facilities to treat your injuries.  For example, some hospitals are certified trauma facilities that are more capable of dealing with severe injuries, and you might need to be taken there first, for legal reasons, rather than going to a potentially closer, smaller hospital.

Doctors that Don’t Deal with Lawsuits

Many doctors will treat patients regardless of their cause of injury, and they are willing to provide documentation about your injury and your medical care knowing that it might be used in a lawsuit.  These doctors typically need to be made aware that they could potentially be subpoenaed to testify about your injuries and their cause.

Other doctors simply refuse to put themselves in those situations.  Talk to your doctor about whether they will treat you given the potential lawsuit or insurance claim on your hands.  If they will not, your car accident lawyer might be able to recommend alternative options.

When Car Insurance Dictates Treatment

In some cases, especially where you have no-fault insurance and file a claim with your own insurance provider, the insurance company might try to dictate what doctors you have to use for your care.  In these cases, insurance companies might want you to use doctors that they trust to provide only required care, report back about your injuries, and deny you unnecessary or overly expensive care.  This can often be dangerous, and you should speak with a Yonkers car accident attorney about whether this is legal in your area or whether these insurance doctors are limited to reviews only.

However, it can often be beneficial to use a doctor that is able to bill to your auto insurance company.  This often means fewer out-of-pocket payments up front.  However, finding a doctor who takes car insurance payments in your area might be hard, so speak with your car accident lawyer.

Doctors Who Don’t Accept Your Insurance

If you end up having to use your own medical insurance to get the care you need, you could be entitled to have the deductibles and copays you paid out of pocket reimbursed through a lawsuit.  However, you should speak with a car accident lawyer about whether that is the best option for your treatment in the first place, especially if other doctors will accept payment directly from the auto insurance companies.

Ultimately, if you do turn to your own health insurance, you should always be careful about selecting a doctor that is in your network and will not result in overly expensive medical fees.  Even if you can get later reimbursement, only “reasonable” fees might be covered, which could potentially exclude the high self-pay rates from out-of-network doctors and health care providers.  However, if you were away from home on a trip when your car accident happened, you might not have much of a choice about who you get follow-up care from.

Do I Need to See a Specialist After a Car Accident Injury?

Knowing what specific type of doctor to go to after an injury can be difficult.  Your primary care provider can often help you make decisions about what kind of care you need, as can the doctor who initially treated you.  Your car accident lawyers can also help coordinate your care and recommend visits with specialists who might be able to help with certain issues.

A specialist is often necessary for treatment that deals with many specific types of injuries, such as the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Brain injuries and head trauma
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Facial injuries and scarring
  • Damage to specific organs like the heart, kidneys, or lungs

Additionally, follow-up care might need to come from specialists in cases involving rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and more.  The doctors who initially treat you will often recommend a course of follow-up care and rehab, if necessary.  Your White Plains car accident lawyer can also review these recommendations and help coordinate your follow-up care.

Call Our Car Accident Lawyers for Help Understanding Your Road to Recovery

At The Martello Law Firm, our Mount Vernon car accident attorneys seek to help our clients recover from their accidents, and we can help you understand what treatment you should get to receive the care you need to move forward and gather the evidence you need to prove your case.  For a free case evaluation, call us today at (914) 685-6950.

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