Why Won't My Doctor Treat Me After I Was Injured in a Car Accident?
After being seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, victims need to obtain proper medical care and treatment. When calling 911 to report your crash, ask for both police and paramedics to be dispatched to the scene. Police can investigate the crash and compile a report, and paramedics can stabilize your condition and transport you to an emergency room. That's where you will be initially examined, diagnosed, and treated. You might be discharged from the emergency room with instructions to see your family doctor or primary care physician. You might even get to see your doctor, but after you describe how you were injured along with your symptoms, you're likely to be sent out elsewhere. Don't take it personally. It's nothing about you at all. It's probably about referring you out for specialized care and treatment instead.
Why You're Being Referred Out
Your family or primary care physician is simply not in the business of treating most motor vehicle accident injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Spinal injuries to vertebrae, discs, and spinal nerves
- Joint damage, like torn shoulder or knee cartilage
- Chest trauma
- Damage to vital organs
- Dental injuries
Referral to a Specialist Means Quality Care
The previously mentioned injuries could call for treatment by a neurologist, neurosurgeon, orthopedic surgeon, cardiologist, gastroenterologist, oral surgeon, etc. Your family or primary care physician has training in all of these branches of medicine, but they are not a board-certified specialist in any of them. That's why you're being referred out. Obtaining a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment for your injuries from a board-certified specialist is pivotal for your recovery.
Personal Injury Protection Car Insurance in Texas
Although Texas is not a no-fault insurance state, it still requires motorists to be covered by personal injury protection (PIP) insurance unless they sign off on a waiver that declines it. If not declined, PIP coverage operates to pay benefits on behalf of you and your passengers up to your policy limit for a variety of expenses that result from a car accident, regardless of fault. If not waived, the required statutory PIP minimum is $2,500. Optional increased coverage can go as high as $10,000.
Doctors Refusing to See PIP Patients
As unlikely as it might sound, some family or primary care practitioners might refuse to see a motor vehicle accident victim because of PIP coverage. PIP billing gets complicated quickly, and the staff members of many family and primary care physicians just don't have the specialized knowledge and experience for effectively billing an assignment of PIP benefits. They're focused on billing medical insurance companies and not car insurance companies. What that means is that doctors lose time and money treating PIP claimants.
Some Viable Options for Further Treatment
You might understand your doctor's reasons for not wanting to see you, but you still need care and treatment. You're not out of options yet. Your attorney might be able to forward a letter of protection to your doctor. As per that letter, your doctor's bill would be protected from any sums that might be derived through a settlement or award. In turn, your doctor might forward a physician's lien to your attorney for purposes of protecting their bill. The next option is to simply arrange to see a different doctor as soon as possible. Indeed, there are doctors who don't refuse to see victims of accidents. You might be able to obtain a referral to a doctor who treats car accident victims, knows how to document their injuries in their medical records, and also knows how to bill PIP.
Finding the Right Car Accident Doctor
You could have family or friends who have suffered injuries from car accidents in the past and treated with a physician. They might be able to steer you in the right direction. Our attorneys at Glen Larson Law have a large, local Austin network of trusted healthcare providers. Our providers are highly qualified to deal with the types of injuries sustained in car accidents.
We also have networks of providers all over Texas, including:
- San Antonio
- San Marcos
Gaps in Treatment
You don't want your medical records to show gaps in treatment. There are two types of gaps, and the opposing insurer will use either or both against you. The first type of gap involves the interval between when your accident and injuries occurred and the time that you began treating for your injuries. We recommend getting to an emergency room right away after being injured in an accident, even if paramedics must take you. The second type of gap involves consistent treatment and an interim of weeks or months when you didn't treat. Then, you started treating for the same injuries again. In either case, the opposing insurer will argue that you aren't injured to the extent claimed, or you were injured by some other cause other than the accident that you claim to be injured from.
Our advice is that if your family doctor or primary care physician refuses to see you, and you continue to experience pain and discomfort 24 hours from the time of the accident, return to the emergency room to be seen. By doing so, another medical record of your injuries and complaints of pain and discomfort will be generated without a gap. Be persistent in your efforts at finding a doctor or clinic for treatment. You might even encounter a network of specialists.
While you're on the phone, don't forget to arrange for a consultation with an experienced and effective personal injury attorney. Remember that they might also be of help in having you seen by a qualified medical professional, as we try to be here at The Law Offices of Glen F. Larson. Our law firm helps clients all throughout Texas with severe injury claims, even taking issues to court for litigation as needed.
Contact us at any time by using an online form or by dialing (512) 553-4994. Free case evaluationsare available.