I just had a car accident and have not yet been to a doctor. What kind of doctor should I see after my car crash to best help my case?
Car Crash in Cooper City
Dear Cooper City Car Crash:
I appreciate your email and want you to know how lucky you are that you have a choice in picking your doctor. Many people involved in car wrecks in Florida are taken to a hospital and undergo care and treatment without any control as to who they see. I am concerned that you are asking me what kind of doctor you need to help your case rather than for your well being. I hope I did not misunderstand your email, but I advise you and anyone else that has been in an accident, to do what is in the best interest of your health and well-being and not what might help or hurt your case.
Assuming I misunderstood your email, and I apologize if I did, there are a number of medical specialties that help diagnose and treat injuries. Orthopedic surgeons generally treat broken bones and injuries to the tissues and muscles that surround them; Neurologists treat and care for nerve injuries and brain damage; Pain Management Doctors and Physiatrists can help you with tolerating the pain while you heal; Chiropractors and Acupuncturists provide excellent care for those who like the most non-evasive and natural approach to treatment. I usually recommend that our clients see a variety of specialists to make sure that all of their injuries are both diagnosed and treated. Often doctors will overlook complaints that can be significant if they fall outside of their expertise. For instance, an orthopedic surgeon who might be treating your broken clavicle might not notice the subtle cognitive limitations of a mild traumatic brain injury.
Most importantly, you need to have a doctor that is both qualified and experienced. We recommend that you check with the Florida Department of Health website to verity that your doctor is licensed and Board Certified. I also recommend that you steer clear of a clinic that offers multiple specialties under one roof, catering only to car accident victims. These types of places may not be able to provide the level of care one needs for significant injuries and may be more focused on your PIP Insurance benefits than your health. In the end, should your injury result in a claim, the value of your claim can be directly related to the quality and reputation of physicians you have selected. Think of it in terms of selecting players for a team, because in trial, your doctors will also have to serve as your expert witnesses. If you have a weak group of doctors who cannot or will not advocate for you as their patient and withstand the scrutiny of cross-examination you probably will not win your case.
I guarantee that the defense and their insurance company lawyers very carefully select the doctors they hire to examine and testify against you. They do not necessarily hire the kindest and most gentle neurologist or orthopedic surgeon they can find. They certainly do not use doctors based upon their surgical technique or patient satisfaction survey. They hire doctors that are ready, willing and able to come into a court room, look you and your attorney in the eye and then gently turn to the jury to tell them you are not injured. This happens every day in courtrooms across Florida. That is why as a Florida lawyer specializing in car accidents, I caution you to proceed slowly if you are not seriously injured before you make a claim. Do not allow the claim to dictate your care and treatment. Rather, go to the very best doctor you can find or ask a lawyer you trust to make suggestions.
I hope this helps you and we wish you a safe and speedy recovery. Got a question about your South Florida car wreck for Spencer? Email me here and we will respond.