CHICAGO, IL – Individuals who pursue personal injury claims may want to switch doctors if they feel their healthcare provider is not sufficiently treating their injuries; however, this can be damaging to their case. Especially in the event that the new healthcare provider uses the same approach as the previous doctor, the insurance company may deem the treatment as unnecessary and refuse to cover it.
Alternatively, if someone suffers a permanent injury, more treatments may not be beneficial. Therefore, it’s in your best interest if you’re pursuing a civil lawsuit to consult with a personal injury attorney at the Dinizulu Law Group before switching doctors due to dissatisfaction with your current medical treatment.
What Doctor to See After an Accident in Chicago, Illinois
If you are injured in an accident, you will likely be seen by a doctor in the emergency room; however, once you are released from the hospital, you will need to find a doctor who can provide you with long-term care. If you do not have a regular doctor, your insurance company may give you a list of their network providers.
If you already have a regular doctor, you may want to stick with them for your injury case. This is because they already know your medical history and can provide continuity of care; however, if you are unhappy with your regular doctor or need specialized treatment, you may consider finding a new doctor.
How Long Do I Have to Go to a Doctor in Illinois?
It’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident for documentation purposes and to support your personal injury claim. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance company may argue that your injuries are unrelated to the accident.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years which begins on the date the injury occurred.
Be prepared for the “doctor shopping” accusation from the insurance company if you choose to move forward with switching doctors while pursuing a personal injury case. This argument accuses the injured party of searching for a doctor who will provide an opinion that will favor them in the case.
Is it Appropriate to Switch Doctors During a Civil Claim?
You may be able to switch doctors through a physician referral after a substantial amount of treatment. For instance, if a patient’s condition isn’t improving, their doctor may refer them to another physician or specialist to explore more aggressive forms of treatment. Similarly, the insurance company probably would not push back if you changed doctors for another unavoidable reason, such as your current provider leaving the profession or moving to a new location.
In other words, you may need to provide proof that a change in doctors was medically necessary to refute allegations of “doctor shopping.”
What If a Doctor Recommends Alternative Care?
Importantly, switching doctors during a personal injury case by your own volition is very different from switching doctors because another physician recommended that you do so. For example, if basic chiropractic treatment does not resolve lingering back pain stemming from a car wreck, the chiropractor might refer that patient to a specialist or even recommend corrective surgery.
Rather than potentially being an unnecessary change in treatment, following this kind of recommendation from a doctor or specialist could be a key part of achieving maximum physical recovery. That being said, your insurance company might still contest the notion that this kind of treatment was medically necessary, so it can still help to have skilled legal representation advocating on your behalf.
What to Bring to Your Doctor’s Appointment After an Accident in Illinois
When you go to the doctor after an accident, it’s important to bring all relevant medical records, including any records from the hospital or other doctors you have seen for your injuries, a list of medications you are taking (both prescription and over-the-counter), any X-rays or MRIs that may have been taken from before the accident and insurance information so the doctor’s office can submit a claim.
Other Compensation You May Be Eligible for in an Illinois Claim
In addition to medical expenses, you may also be able to recover others, such as lost wages, pain and suffering and property damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you understand your legal options and get the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Chicago, Illinois Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered a personal injury, it’s important to speak to a skilled lawyer who can help you understand your legal options. The lawyers at the Dinizulu Law Group have helped thousands of personal injury victims get the compensation they deserve. We offer free consultants, so there is no risk in speaking with us about your case. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (312) 384-1920.