Free Legal Advice | Injury Lawyer Sarasota Florida
Some free legal advice is available right here right now: choose your own doctors after your accident or injury.
After a serious personal injury, the victim may have initially visited the hospital emergency room by ambulance. Perhaps the patient was admitted for surgery or other procedures. Eventually, the patient is discharged from the hospital with instructions to follow up with a physician.
The instructions—written by the emergency physician or a physician assistant—often name the patient’s family doctor, the attending physician for the hospital admission, or actually provides a different specialist’s contact information.
The purpose is to get the patient to seek follow up by another doctor outside the hospital. Depending on the injuries and other circumstances, the patient may decide to seek an office visit with a different doctor than the physician listed by the discharge paperwork. Your lawyer should not be the one making your arrangements for you.
Legal Advice Should Be About You
If your personal injury was caused by negligence of another—auto crash, motorcycle accident, truck accident, slip and fall, construction injury, and similar incidents often caused by at fault parties—then you may seek a lawyer to represent your interests. The ethical lawyer will be seeking to hold the at-fault person or business accountable for their actions, and in that regard, seeking compensation for your injuries.
The fact that you have retained counsel to recover money compensation for all that you have been through is entirely appropriate. The lawyer should be using his or her best efforts to maximize the compensation which you deserve through knowing your injuries, hardships, hopes, and needs. This is principled advocacy.
What should not be a part of the lawyer’s focus and effort is directing your medical care in any manner. That is for you and your health professionals to decide. As the personal injury lawyer representing a client, I want the client to find a qualified doctor whom the client trusts, and proceed with the treatment which that patient and physician have discussed, understand, and agree has the best chance of promoting health and recovery.
Choosing Your Physician is Important But Not Legal Advice
Just like choosing your personal injury lawyer, you should choose your doctor. You want the best physician for your medical needs and circumstances. This may come from word-of-mouth, internet research, reviews by others who have used the professional’s services, or a referral from friend, family member, co-worker, or another doctor.
You should be seeking the doctor whom you believe will provide you the help you need, and perhaps have the medical answers and care you are seeking. Your decision should not be whether or not that doctor is connected to an attorney, or whether your lawyer personally knows the doctor.
There are physicians who are patient-friendly and support their patients in injury claims. There are doctors who are linked to insurance companies, to whom these insurance carriers pay large sums of money to deny the existence of injuries and further treatment. It is because of this that some lawyers believe the client must be saved from seeking treatment with a known defense-oriented physician.
In my experience, however, there are many more doctors who are indifferent and not involved or linked to lawyers or insurance companies in the small world of personal injury matters. When a client is left to choose his or her own physician, based on that client’s injuries and circumstances, the client is often very satisfied with the care provided and the results. Similarly, allowing the natural course of choosing a physician also leads to a more convincing outcome for the insurance company.
Finding Your Physician is Legal Advice to Help Your Personal Injury Case
While some consumers believe that a doctor who is connected to a lawyer is important in achieving a good result, in the real world the opposite is often true. A physician who is known as a plaintiff’s doctor may have a credibility problem with the insurance adjuster. The care may be excellent and the doctor well-qualified and credentialed, but the impression is a bad one in the minds of some insurance carriers and some jurors.
Why tempt that impression at all? Nowadays, injured persons have access to volumes of information about doctors. Use this information to select yours. Because I hold to these principles, I can emphasize to insurance adjusters that the physician who has treated the injury victim, and who is supporting the client’s injury claim, has enhanced credibility and authority. Insurance companies often agree—because they know it is true.
There can be no suggestions, inferences, or similar silliness that the attorney is some puppet-master over the physician. Notably, the same cannot be said of the insurance company’s hired gun, as such doctors are so vested and become so wealthy through the insurance pay master arrangement.
Legal Advice Attempts to Help You Recover Fair Compensation
Being yourself can be an unstoppable force toward securing justice in your auto crash claim or personal injury matter. Sometimes, your lawyer has to step aside and realize that choreographing important parts of your life—such as picking your doctors—is the wrong play.
Because I have been a trial attorney and litigator since 1995, I have learned a lot of about what leads to success and justice and what leads to loss and poor results. Part of this experience also means unlearning methods others use which in my view do not serve clients well.