So you were just involved in a car wreck. You did all the right things: exchanged insurance information with the other driver, took pictures of the crash scene, and wrote down the names and phone numbers of witnesses. You even obtained a copy of the police report. All your ducks are in a row and you're ready to pursue your car accident claim. You may think that all you have to do is get medical help for that nagging pain in your neck or back caused by your crash.
Unfortunately, getting medical help is more complex than it sounds. That's because some doctors and chiropractors don't have your best interests in mind. Rather, they seek to fill their own pockets. They will do so at your expense.
Atlanta personal injury attorney Gary Martin Hays discusses this matter with Dr. Chris Connelly of Pain Atlanta. Dr. Connelly works with the Georgia Chiropractic Association as a qualified review agent. He identifies five red flags to watch out for when seeking medical help from a doctor or chiropractor.
Red flags to watch out for
Some doctors or chiropractors will try to solicit you simply if you were involved in a crash, not necessarily because you need the treatment. It's best not to run up a bunch of unnecessary bills or test if it's not needed.
Here are five key warning signs to watch out for:
- You receive a phone call from the doctor or clinic after your crash: A doctor may obtain a copy of the police report showing that you were involved in a crash. They often work for doctors, chiropractors, or lawyers. We call them "runners." Not only is this practice unethical, but it's also illegal in Georgia.
- You go to a clinic, but there is no doctor present: Georgia law requires doctors to be present when a patient visits.
- The doctor doesn't examine or treat you: The doctor is present but doesn't provide an examination or treatment. Instead, the doctor has you fill out paperwork.
- Your doctor references your personal injury case: The chiropractor or doctor immediately refers you for an MRI or nerve test because it will be "good for your personal injury case." This is a clear indication that the doctor may be working with a lawyer.
- Your doctor omits follow-up care: The doctor may ask you to sign multiple treatment notes and tell you that followup care isn't needed.
Here's why you should avoid falling for these tricks:
- It's bad for your health: You will likely not receive the care that you need.
- Insurance companies are aware of this practice: Insurance companies are already aware of fraudulent healthcare providers and won't fall for their tricks. This could end up costing you money in the end.
- It could fall back on you: If you participate in their fraud, you could face potential criminal or legal consequences.
Get the medical help you need. Then speak to an attorney.
You should always take your injuries seriously, even if they seem minor. That's why it's best to get inclusive treatment from a reliable doctor or chiropractor. By doing so, your injury can be addressed early on before it worsens. You should consult with an experienced attorney who can help you explore your legal options.
Contact The Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. online to schedule your free case evaluation.