Switching doctors in the middle of an injury case
We frequently have injury clients for one reason or another, want to switch doctors. Presumably, the reason is that they feel that their current doctor isn’t doing enough to treat their injuries and they are seeking a more aggressive approach. This is an issue that needs to be discussed both with your doctor and injury lawyer, prior to making a switch, as it may be harmful potentially to your case, particularly if the new treating physician, doesn’t do anything all that differently than the first doctor. The insurance company may argue that the additional treatment was unnecessary and refuse to pay for it. Also, if an injury patient racks up huge medical bills with the idea that by doing so they are increasing the value of the case for settlement purposes, they may find again the insurance company arguing that the treatment was excessive and unnecessary and refuse to pay for it.
We do see cases where it may appropriate to change medical care; an example might be where a client starts treatment with a chiropractor and after conservative management and physical therapy, after a number of months, there is no improvement in their condition. The chiropractor themselves, may refer the patient to a physical medicine doctor for purposes or trying more aggressive treatment, such as pain injections and pain medicine. This is a completely different situation when your own doctor suggests alternative medical care than the patient making the decision that they are going to go physician shopping and treat with a number of different doctors who may provide similar and overlapping medical care. The clients idea is probably the more doctors they see and the more the bills increase, the larger the case may be; this is dangerous and erroneous thinking. If you have been injured in a car crash or other type of injury case, discuss with your injury lawyer and your attending doctor, the wisdom of switching doctors in the middle of the case. It may also turn out that you have reached a healing plateau and no additional treatment is going to help you, as the accident may have caused you to sustain a permanent injury. That is s bitter pill for an injury client to swallow. When in doubt on your medical treatment and the progression of your injury case, it is most advisable to contact and discuss this openly and honestly with your personal injury lawyer.