If you’ve been seriously hurt and meet with a lawyer who wants to send you to one of “his” doctors, it’s time to find another lawyer. While this might seem like a friendly effort to help you, a doctor referral from your attorney can kill your case before it ever leaves the ground.
Here’s why: the defense will expose the relationship between your lawyer and the doctor and cast it as a sinister money-making scheme cooked up by those two, using you as their lackey. The defense will make your medical treatment a conspiracy where the doctor got paid for unneeded treatment to jack up your medical bills so the injury attorney- and you- could make more money.
So in a case where whoever hurt you should be the bad guy, the defense will turn it around and make the bad guys the professionals you went to for help. Suddenly, the jury believes nothing you or your lawyer says. That means you get a cheap verdict—or none at all.
Slick, huh? And I promise they’ll do this, even if all your treatment was totally legit. Why? Because it works.
NOTE THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE: if you’ve got a workers’ compensation case with the relatively rare need for a second opinion, your attorney will probably have to make that referral, since doctors who do these the right way can be hard to find.
So What Do You Do or Medical Treatment When You Get Hurt in an Accident?
Also, you can follow the recommendations of staff who treat you in the ER. If you’re hurt bad enough to need emergency or immediate surgery, you’ve already got a specialist who knows all about your case, so it makes sense to stick with that doctor to finish your care.
You can also go to your regular doctor for a referral to a specialist.
And yes, if you truly don’t know where to turn, your lawyer should be able to suggest specialists to consider. Just make sure there’s no pre-arranged business deal between the attorney and the doctor.
Spoiler Alert: The Real Reason You Need a Squeaky Clean Doctor
Your doctor is one of the most important witnesses in your case. You can’t risk a jury disbelieving him because they think he’s a quack in cahoots with your attorney.