Why won’t my primary care doctor treat my car accident injuries?

You or a family member was hurt in an auto accident, and your first instinct is to make an appointment with your primary care doctor. After all, you have been seeing this doctor for years, and there is no one you trust more to diagnose and treat you.

However, our Indianapolis car wreck lawyer says you might be shocked to find out that your family doctor doesn’t want to see you after a car accident. Why is that? Read on to find out.

Accident Injuries Are Different From Other Injuries and Illnesses

Injured Driver After a Car CrashThere are a few reasons your primary care doctor might not want to treat you for a car accident injury. In general, you can probably trust that your doctor has your best interests at heart and has a good reason for wanting you to go somewhere else for treatment.

Common reasons you might be sent elsewhere include the following:

  • Your doctor is not equipped to treat traumatic injury. Car accident injuries are often catastrophic, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and deep cuts and lacerations. Most primary care medical offices are simply not prepared to treat these kinds of injuries—even after initial treatment in an emergency department. Your doctor might refer you to a specialist to provide the kind of ongoing care and treatment you will need.
  • The office does not want to deal with billing car insurance. When the office learns that you have been in a car accident, they know they will have to deal with someone’s car insurance. Whether it is your own MedPay coverage or the other driver’s liability coverage, billing could be problematic for a general practitioner’s office and more than they want to deal with. In addition, if fault is in question, the doctor could be denied payment altogether.
  • The potential for litigation is not worth the risk. Your doctor will be well aware of the fact that if you were injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you will probably be working with a lawyer to get a fair settlement from the other driver’s insurance company. This will involve your doctor handing over medical records and possibly testifying in court if the insurance claim becomes a lawsuit. This whole process could be more than your doctor is willing or able to do.

It is understandable that a general practitioner or family medicine clinic would not want to deal with the hassle that comes with treating car accident injuries. However, your own doctor is not your only option.

How Your Indiana Attorney Can Help With Medical Treatment

As a personal injury attorney team who have been practicing in Indiana for many years, Keller & Keller has connections in the medical field, and we make sure our clients get the diagnosis and treatment they need. We encourage our clients to go to the ER or an urgent care clinic as soon as possible after the accident for triage and emergency treatment.

Hospitals will not turn patients away, so you do not have to worry about being denied treatment. Once you have received initial treatment, you should get in touch with our legal team to discuss the accident. We can help you find follow-up care, long-term rehabilitation, and treatment for pain and suffering.

To build a strong claim for damages after a car accident, it’s important that you don’t have any gaps in medical treatment. That means going to the ER right away and finding follow-up care as soon as possible. It also means following whatever treatment plan is given to you.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller