One of the most important distinctions between law firms is how they refer clients to medical providers. How and why a law firm recommends its clients receive treatment can tell you a lot about how much they have your best interests at heart, and how much they understand the strategy insurance company lawyers will use to undermine your case.
Some Seattle law firms have a doctor they send their clients to. Generally the idea is that the client will be “guaranteed” (we use that word loosely) to get testimony from that doctor that the client was seriously injured and deserves compensation for their injuries.
At Premier Law Group, we do not usually refer you to a medical care provider. We advise our clients that, while medical treatment is absolutely necessary in the aftermath of an accident, which medical provider you go to should be your choice. There are a number of reasons for this:
1) We believe that you are the best person to guide your medical care. It’s not our place to micromanage your medical care. We’re are here to help our clients get justice from the insurance company.
2) The insurance companies pool resources together for vast computer databases to collect and share data about which doctors attorneys refer their cases to. They use this data to undermine the accident victim’s case by attacking the doctor’s credibility. They’ll try to convince the jury that the doctor is not neutral but biased in favor of the victim. By letting you choose the best medical care for yourself, the neutrality of your doctor’s written opinion will not be as easy to throw into doubt in front of a jury.
3) An attorney with your best interest at heart will encourage the client to adopt a mindset that their medical care is more important than their case. Your highest priority should be getting well. Regardless of how your case goes, and how much eventually comes back to you in settlement or jury award, the one thing that you can truly risk losing forever is your health. Choosing the best medical care for you is an important part of recovery.
If you’ve read this far and take nothing else away, remember this: Your health care is your top priority after an accident. Make an appointment with your care provider, attend all your appointments, and do what your provider advises. While you may be tempted to “tough it out” and heal from serious injuries on your own, think about how it looks to a jury if you don’t see medical care. They could easily be led to believe by the “other side” that you weren’t injured seriously enough to need medical attention and that could have a devastating impact on your case. So, find a doctor as soon as possible after your accident and focus on healing while your attorney takes care of everything else.
Don’t sign anything from the insurance company or speak with an adjuster
We have seen thousands of people who were injured in auto accidents and here’s what we know: If you’ve been in a serious accident, your first priority is your medical care. However, as soon as you report your claim to the insurance company, they will begin to scramble to limit the amount of money they have to pay out to you — money you will need to cover your medical care and the time you lose from work. We’ve seen them use every dirty trick in the book, but there’s one simple way to protect yourself. Don’t talk to the insurance adjuster or sign anything they send you! It’s that simple. They can wait until you’ve spoken with an attorney and have a game plan about what to do next without endangering your claim to fair compensation. Remember that the insurance company is a business with one goal: Keeping themselves profitable. Your needs will always come after their needs, so you’re best off making sure that you’re informed and that you can simply focus on getting better. Do you have questions about how insurance claims work? Contact our offices in Seattle, Bellevue, or Vancouver by giving us a call at 206-285-1743.