December 27, 2016
As if it isn’t bad enough that you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, now your doctor seems to be kicking you while you’re down. Your family doctor, whom you’ve been visiting for years, is refusing to treat you. She doesn’t treat accident victims.
This rejection can feel particularly devastating. After all, you probably thought you were okay at the accident scene, even though you were shaken up. Maybe you declined a ride to the emergency room and just went home to pull yourself together and let a few minor bruises heal. But now your pain is getting worse. Instead of healing, you’re hurting more and more every day. Work is a struggle. You’re already kicking yourself for not seeing a doctor earlier, and now your trusted physician has figuratively shut the door in your face.
You need medical care and advice, but the last thing you want to do is start a random Google search and call various doctors to see who can and who will take you on as a patient.
Why Is This Happening?
People don’t like to hear the “It’s not you, it’s me” line, but in this case, it’s probably true. It’s not you who your doctor is rejecting—it’s your doctor who doesn’t have the time or expertise to process the bills associated with the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) section of your car insurance:
- Med Pay (called PIP in some states) billing can be so complicated that many medical providers choose to avoid the hassle and paperwork. There are different forms, different limits, and different rules for documenting post-accident treatment than there are for regular medical care.
- Doctors may experience delays or denial of reimbursement from insurance companies, and some physicians just can’t afford to take that risk.
- Doctors may not want to get involved in legal issues because it could require them to take time away from their practice to give testimony in court.
- Doctors don’t like working “on lien,” which means providing services without compensation for now in hopes that they can accept a payment out of your settlement later.
Finding the Right Doctor
There are physicians who specialize in car accidents and how understand how to document the treatments and bill the auto insurance companies. However, there is no publicly available list that you can access to locate a physician in your area. Sometimes, even emergency room personnel refer accident victims to doctors who still refuse to accept them.
Finding the right doctor, however, is absolutely vital. Insurance adjusters might argue that you weren’t seriously injured if you don’t provide proof of medical treatment following an accident.
It can be frustrating to learn that your doctor won’t treat you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t receive the care that you need. A personal injury attorney can walk with you on your quest for medical care and document your attempts to get medical treatment in case you can’t find a doctor and the insurance adjusters try to use that against you. Your attorney can recommend you to physicians willing to work “on lien.” While you’re recovering physically, your personal injury lawyer can ease the emotional burden of dealing with doctors, adjusters, and insurance companies.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you need to take the time to heal physically. Let a personal injury attorney deal with some of your stress and make sure you’re on your way to a fair settlement while you recover. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free, no-commitment consultation to see if we can help you with your case.