Getting injured in a car accident is often traumatic. It is important to know that you have options for what kind of treatment you receive as a result of the crash. Although the wreck itself has many facets that need your attention, the most important thing to focus on after a car accident is your recovery.
People can sustain a wide range of injuries from car accidents. Some need to be rushed to the hospital for severe, life-threatening injuries while others suffer painful neck and back pain that requires a few chiropractic visits. No matter what the severity of your injuries, you’re entitled to receive treatment and have the costs paid for by the at-fault party.
If you don’t go to the hospital immediately after the accident, you might wonder where you should start for treatment. It’s important to recognize that it’s your body and your recovery. As such, you have to determine the best course for your treatment. You could go to your primary care doctor, the emergency room, urgent care, a chiropractor, and many more. If you still don’t know where to start, an accident attorney might be able to connect you to some resources. Although we’re not medical professionals, we can help you navigate your choices so that you can get proper treatment. A car accident is overwhelming enough, don’t get caught up in how many options you have.
If you were in a car accident caused by someone else and were injured as a result, then the law says that the at-fault party is responsible for paying for your damages. This includes medical treatment. In Texas, it’s required by law to have insurance when driving a vehicle. The insurance company steps in and handles the damages on behalf of the at-fault party.
This means that your treatment costs should be paid by the insurance company. However, this doesn’t always happen. Oftentimes, insurance companies will try and get out of paying for your medical care. They will use any and every excuse in the book. Sometimes they’ll say that you “over-treated” - suggesting that you went to the doctor more than you should have. Other times they’ll say that you were “over-charged” - saying that the doctor billed you more than is reasonable or necessary. All of these arguments can be fought. The bottom line is that the insurance company is responsible for compensating you for injuries that came from the wreck.
This doesn’t always mean that you won’t pay out of pocket. Sometimes it takes a while for the insurance company to accept liability. For instance, let’s say that you need to get to the doctor right away, but the insurance company needs to spend time investigating the wreck. If this happens, you might pay out of pocket for your copays or your treatment. If you pay out of pocket for any expenses, be sure to keep a list and receipts. These costs should be recovered when the insurance company works out its liability and coverage investigations.
Additionally, most car accident attorneys have doctors that they can send you to under a letter of protection. This is so that you don’t have to worry about out-of-pocket costs and can instead focus on healing. These arrangements allow the doctors to see and treat you while agreeing to wait until your case has closed with the insurance company. At that point, your attorney will pay the doctor directly from the insurance company settlement.
Sometimes you might require a bit of treatment. This can be difficult if you don’t feel like you trust your provider. It might be uncomfortable, but sometimes a simple conversation can make a world of difference. Perhaps you’re simply on different pages regarding your treatment.
Additionally, many facilities have more than one doctor who operates out of the building. Sometimes you can switch doctors without having to switch facilities.
Ultimately, your recovery is just that: yours. You have an absolute right to be seen by a doctor that you trust and choose. If you don’t like your current provider and you don’t feel like things can be fixed with a conversation, ask your attorney about switching doctors. Oftentimes, there are a few different options that you can choose from.
Everybody experiences different injuries after a car accident. There’s no set duration for treatment. The goal is to get to the point that you were in, physically, immediately before the wreck. If this isn’t possible, then the goal is to get you to “maximum medical improvement,” which means that you get to the point where you can’t recover more than you have.
Sometimes it takes people only a few weeks to reach this point. Sometimes it takes years. Everybody is different.
Nobody knows more about your recovery than you do. Your doctor and medical team can advise you on how you’re doing, but nobody feels the pain like you. With that being said, it’s always smart to listen to the professionals. If you feel that you’ve recovered completely, you are within your right to tell your doctor that you want to be finished with treatment. You do not have to continue simply because your treatment plan hasn’t finished yet.
If you have any questions about finding a doctor to treat your car accident injuries, changing your doctor, or how long you should continue treatment, give McKinney Vos a call today for a free consultation.