Long Island, NY Personal Injury
& Accident Lawyers
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Jurors Want To Know – Do You Really Need A Doctor?

    There are many injuries, particularly head injuries, that are not obvious when an individual first is hurt due to negligence. However, that is precisely why the proper protocol is to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible after an accident. The hope always is that the patient is fine, save perhaps a few bruises, and can be released from the hospital. But there are times when that is not the case, and further treatment is required.

    Typically, victims of personal injury follow up with their primary care physicians, who, in turn refer them to specialists – neurologists, orthopedists, physiatrists, for example.

    Once a diagnosis has been determined, the treating doctor (or doctors) prescribe a treatment regimen. Good doctors will prescribe exactly what is needed and follow the case along the way. However, there are some medical professionals who prescribe much more than is medically necessary which is inconvenient for the patient, and may adversely affect a personal injury case, if it exists.

    That may be counter-intuitive, but keep in mind that nothing is cut and dry about a personal injury claim. The outcome hinges as much on perspective as it does on the actual injuries an individual has suffered.

    Insurance carriers (who are not in the business to pay claims, anyway), judges, and jurors who may hear your case may frown upon someone who is “over-treating.” In other words, if your knee has been injured, you probably don’t need massage therapy on your neck. That would be
    over-treating, and it will not serve you well in the in the long run.

    Another example of over-treating is going for unnecessary diagnostic
    tests. For example, if your neurologist sends you for an MRI of your lumbar spine, your orthopedist also should be able to refer to that same MRI during treatment. If he or she sends you for another MRI in the exact location as the first, that is a colossal waste of your time, insurance money, and will stand out as unnecessary, should your case go to trial. These are details that a jury of your peers will pay attention to.

    Again, much is perspective. So, conceivably, you could be severely injured, but if your case does not settle and goes to trial, you could still lose if the jury perceives that you and your doctors are embellishing your condition.

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