Definitely, if you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you need to contact a doctor. There are five doctors you can see.
#1, there’s an orthopaedic surgeon. They do surgery. There’s an osteopath. They do surgery but rely more on hands-on techniques, kind of like a chiropractor. Chiropractors don’t give medicines. And then, finally, there are neurologists and neurosurgeons.
Depending on, if there’s a spinal injury, closed head injury, you initially need to see that because you’ve got to see what’s wrong with you.
What we try to do first is find out what’s wrong with the individual; is it a knee problem, they need to go to an orthopedist; if it’s a head problem, they’ve got to go to a neurosurgeon.
And then, we need to get those records before we assist the doctor in making the determination of what diagnostic test do they need, is it a CAT scan for the head, an MRI for the spine, an x-ray for the rest.
You’ve got to have an open dialog with the doctor.
The physician-patient relationship is almost as important, or probably more important than a lawyer-client relationship. You’re hurt and you’ve got to get well. The doctor does that, they drive that bus. We drive the lawyer bus to try to figure out what your claim is and where you go.
The doctors and the lawyers need to work together.
And here at my office, I handle a claim. I have relationships with physicians.
I can get on the phone, “we’ve got a problem. What can I help you do, doctor? Do you need help getting the bills paid? Do you need help to get them to the MRI center? Does the client have transportation because the car may have been a good fix?”
Those all fall into what the doctor’s doing and you need to get to the doctor immediately.
You want your physician and your lawyer to be on the same page. Ultimately, we tried a case recently, the doctor has to come and be an advocate for the client.
And if the lawyer is not returning your phone calls, the doctor’s calling to find out when you need to be in court, where you park, what’s going on. That all feather-tails in together to presenting the claim the best you can for the patient and the client.
You’ve got to find out whether your lawyer has doctor relationships with chiropractors, osteopaths, orthopedists, neurologists, neurosurgeons.