After a car crash, there is nothing more important than getting immediate medical attention, a proper diagnosis of any injuries you incurred and a treatment plan. Beyond that, it is critical, both for your health and any legal claim you may seek, to stick to your treatment plan. So, what can you do if you are unhappy with your doctor, unsure about your treatment, or concerned whether a recommended surgery is necessary?
When making big decisions, such as buying a home or other large purchases, it is common to seek a second opinion from others. The same goes for your physical health, especially when dealing with injuries that may be serious. Seeking the opinion of another qualified doctor is often a good idea. Especially if it gives you more assurance about your medical treatment and the doctor providing your care.
Goldberg Finnegan has extensive experience helping injury victims understand their legal options for a car crash claim. Call our car accident lawyers in Silver Spring today to learn more in a free, no-obligation case review.
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When Could Getting a Second Opinion Benefit You?
Getting a second opinion when seeking treatment for your car crash injuries may benefit you in many ways, including:
- Any time prior to undergoing a recommended surgery or alternative, and possibly risky, medical treatment
- When you are uncertain about medication being prescribed to you, especially when side effects are risky
- If your current diagnosis about your injuries is not yet clear and you want to make sure nothing was missed
- When you have been following your recommended treatment but are not responding well to it
- If you have sustained several injuries and other complications from the car crash
- If you are unhappy with, or have lost confidence in, your current treating physician
In any of these circumstances, seeking the opinion of another doctor can help provide you with peace of mind. It is important to feel like the care you are receiving is going to help you to recover. Patients are more likely to keep going for treatment when they have confidence in their doctor.
Continuing your care and following your doctor’s recommended treatment plan can have a huge impact on the outcome of your claim. When crash victims stop getting treatment, insurers may say you are not hurt as badly as you say. This could lead to your claim being devalued or flat out denied.
What You Should Know Before You Get a Second Opinion
When you seek a second opinion from another doctor, it is important to find someone who is qualified to diagnose and/or treat your injuries. Going to your normal primary care physician, for instance, may feel more comfortable. However, he or she is unlikely to have the in-depth knowledge or experience for a car crash injury.
Check out several qualified doctors by doing some online research, as well as asking for recommendations from friends and family members. Remember to look for doctors who are qualified to treat your specific injuries. If the physician treating you was an orthopedic doctor, for example, look for a physician with qualifications that are similar.
- Remember that you may have to pay for a second opinion
- Seek a physician with the right qualifications for your injuries
- Do plenty of research online
- Get recommendations from people you trust, including your attorney
The Insurance Company May Also Ask for a Second Opinion
If you get a second opinion, it is possible that you may get pushback from the insurance company. They may say you are trying to increase your potential compensation by seeking a doctor who will say your injuries are more severe. The insurance company may also decide to seek their own “second opinion” by requiring you to go to an Independent Medical Exam (IME).
Theoretically, the purpose of an IME is to provide an impartial diagnosis about your injuries and their severity. In an IME, you go to a doctor that your insurance company chooses. IME physicians are also paid by the insurance company, so any hope of impartiality is probably not realistic.
That said, any concerns about possibly having to attend an IME should not keep you from getting a second opinion about your injuries. It can help if you have an attorney on your side to represent you and protect your interests. In this situation, he or she will help you to understand more about what an IME is and how to prepare for that appointment.
Need Legal Help After a Car Crash?
Crash victims who have sustained serious harm caused by the negligence of another driver may greatly benefit from seeking legal help. In fact, injured victims who have legal representation for a legal claim often recover more compensation than those who do not.
At Goldberg Finnegan, our team of qualified and experienced legal professionals are ready to help. We are available to take your call anytime, night or day. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs. We do not collect our fees unless we first win your case.