When choosing a doctor to treat an injury suffered in a Newtown, PA accident, there are many factors to consider. For example, those who have a back injury will obviously want to choose a physician with experience handling back problems. However, the victim’s personal preferences should also be taken into consideration. In some cases, a defendant in a personal injury case may request the accident victim see a particular healthcare provider.
Choosing a Doctor
When seriously injured, it is important seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room. In these situations, a patient cannot always choose his or her doctor. However, the patient will often need to choose a doctor to provide ongoing care to treat and heal the injury.
For ongoing care, patients may consider the following:
- Referrals – According to a Consumer Reports survey, those who received referrals from family members and primary care physicians were more satisfied with their choices than those who chose a doctor from their health insurance provider or phone book. Seeing a surgeon or specialist may require a doctor referral, but patients can ask their primary care doctor for several referrals so they can choose a doctor with whom they feel most comfortable.
- Credentials – There are many websites that allow patients to view doctors’ education and professional background and see how well their doctor fares in various categories, such as following practice guidelines, ease of making appointments, wait time and patient care. Administrators in Medicine (www.docfinder.org) and American Board of Medical Specialties (www.abms.org) are free to use.
- Gender – Male patients may be more comfortable with a male doctor, while females may prefer a female doctor. It is important to let the primary care physician know of any preferences so he or she can offer referrals appropriately.
When an Injury Involves a Lawsuit
If an injury occurs due to someone else’s negligence, you may decide to pursue a lawsuit to recover damages. Your doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis of your injuries may be used as evidence in your case to demonstrate that you were injured as well as the extent of your injuries and damages.
The defendant may request you see a particular doctor to get another opinion of the victim’s injuries. If this is the case, the victim should seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney to prepare for the appointment. Unfortunately, some doctors may make a report that is more favorable to the defense if the defense is paying for the examination, so when attending an appointment be truthful, straightforward and courteous so you do not give any further reason for an unbalanced report.
Also keep in mind that although it is legal to switch doctors after a patient has begun a course of treatment, the fact that the patient switched doctors can be brought up in court and if asked, the patient must give an honest answer as to why he or she did not continue to see the original doctor.
An attorney at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help Newton, PA accident victims prepare for these questions and can answer any questions regarding the legal implications of seeing a particular doctor or seeing multiple physicians or specialists.