Why Your Primary Care Physician is at a Disadvantage
Car accidents can lead to a number of injuries. Often these injuries may not be apparent until days, weeks, or over a month after an accident. For this reason, it is always important to get medically evaluated immediately after a collision even if you don’t feel like you have been injured. But see your primary care physician or a car accident doctor after an accident?
Many people might head to their primary care physician following a car accident. However, your primary care physician may not be set up to deal with car accident injuries and may refer you to a medical professional that specializes in car accident injuries, such as a chiropractor.
When it comes to diagnosing and treating injuries, your primary care physician can be at a disadvantage. For one thing, a lot of physicians’ offices are not set up to accept payment through car insurance claims or personal injury claims. Many injuries caused by collisions would also fall outside the scope of their practice.
Your Medical Records Will Have an Impact on Your Claim
Without the proper documentation of your medical records, you may have your insurance claim denied. Your medical records often end up being the most important factor in determining the value of your claim and getting a favorable outcome.
When seeking to win a personal injury claim, your medical records should be as detailed as possible. The more information about your injuries and what kind of treatments you have undergone (or will need to undergo), the more value an insurance company can justify adding to your claim. Some primary care physicians won’t have the training or experience to be able to do this. You should consider seeing a car accident specialist instead.
Elements That Will Be Evaluated In Your Case
Your primary doctor may be able to treat your injuries, but may be unfamiliar with exactly what elements are going to be evaluated by insurance companies on a claim. A chiropractor will be able to provide a detailed list of information on your medical records for an insurance company to review.
For instance, a medical record from your primary care physician may read “patient is experiencing soreness, stiff muscles, and headaches. Has been prescribed rest and Flexeril”. This does not provide much information about your injuries and could lead to your claim being rejected or given a lower value.
If you see a chiropractor that specializes in car accident injuries, your medical records should contain:
- A list of all injuries and conditions caused by the accident
- A list of all pre-existing injuries or conditions from before the accident
- A description of what caused your injuries and if any pre-existing injuries or conditions were worsened by the crash
- Whether or not the injuries or conditions sustained are permanent or temporary
- A detailed report of the accident
- A list of all medical evaluation tests performed, such as X-rays, MRIs, nerve compression tests, range-of-motion tests, or CT scans
- Whether or not you had to undergo physical therapy
- A list of any specialists you had to see for evaluation and treatment, such as a pain management specialist or surgeon
- Any surgeries that were required as a result of the accident
- Documentation of any future medical treatment needed
- An analysis of the impact any injuries will have on your ability to work, live a normal life, or perform daily tasks
By properly documenting all of this information and seeking the appropriate medical attention immediately after your accident, your odds of successfully filing an injury claim are greatly improved.
Working With a Specialist Will Lead to a Better Claim
One of the most important reasons to see a specialist, such as a chiropractor, rather than your primary care physician is to improve the value of your claim. Insurance companies tend to assign more value to a claim when all the important elements of the case have been documented properly.
A chiropractor will know what to document for insurance purposes and can handle third party billing through insurance claims. This means you can get a better claim and avoid paying for any medical treatment out of pocket. Even though you may have a great physician, they may not know how to properly record car accident injuries or resulting complications. Those specific details play a crucial role when filing an insurance claim.
How to Find a Good Car Accident Doctor
You’ve been in a car accident and decided you are going to see a chiropractor, but how do you find a good specialist? Finding a qualified doctor that specializes in car accident injuries will take some action on your part.
First, you will want to do your research. Start by going online and checking out a potential car accident doctor’s website. You may want to look at what the doctor’s credentials are, how much experience they have, what past patients have to say about their experiences. This research can help you narrow down your search.
When you have found a doctor you think is a good fit, make sure to ask:
- Do you accept third party billing?
- Do you have experience with medical documentation for auto accidents?
- Are you able to treat my specific injuries?
- Are you able to refer out to other specialists if needed?
- DO you offer pick up and drop off services if needed?
Why You Should Tell Them About ALL Your Previous Injuries
Some people might be worried about mentioning any pre-existing injuries or conditions to their doctor for fear of affecting their claim. However, this information is very important for your claim to be valid. Rather than weakening your claim, reporting your pre-existing medical issues can strengthen it as people with pre-existing conditions can be more vulnerable and easier to hurt.
On the other hand, if you fail to disclose any previous conditions, insurance companies could look at this as you being deceitful and may deny your claim. They might use this to argue that you were attempting to manipulate your doctor into treating pre-existing conditions. This could lower the value of your claim or get it thrown out altogether.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Find a Car Accident Doctor
If you have been involved in a collision, remember that time is not on your side when it comes to insurance claims. The quicker you can be evaluated by a car accident doctor after your crash, the better chances of success your claim will have.
The window of time you have to seek treatment after a car crash can vary depending on the state you live in. You may have several months to get treatment or only two weeks. Make sure you know how the insurance laws work in your state so you do not wait too long to get treatment.
Remember, in the eyes of insurance companies, if you did not seek treatment then you must not be injured. Many people might not feel any injuries right away, but the most common injuries from car accidents are soft-tissue injuries and these may not become noticeable until weeks later. It’s best to play it safe and get medically evaluated by a specialist quickly after your accident.
Options If You Can’t Afford Treatment
If you aren’t able to afford treatment out of pocket, having the proper insurance can help. Hospital bills will typically be sent to your car insurance company if you have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance.
Car accident injuries can be very severe and often require expensive treatments. In some cases, the at fault driver’s PIP insurance could be used to pay for your medical care.
If you cannot afford to pursue medical treatment without a settlement from a claim, some doctors will make an Insurance Security Agreement with your lawyer. This is an agreement that the doctor will treat you without payment until the settlement has been issued and their expenses will be paid through the settlement.
Schedule a Chiropractic Consultation
Have you been involved in a car accident in Bradenton, Palmetto, Sarasota, or Lakewood Ranch? Then Manasota Accident and Injury Center is here to provide the care and support you need. Our center is a full service chiropractic clinic, specializing in the treatment of patients involved in car accidents.
If you have been injured in a collision, don’t let your treatment wait. Give us a call today at (941) 751-0223 or schedule an appointment with us online. Our team of trained and experienced professionals will help get you on the road to recovery.