Do you want your clients to get treatment at a clinic which specializes in auto accident personal injury cases?
Would it strengthen your legal case to have a narrative report from a doctor's office specializing in auto injuries?
What else would you want to know about the clinic that would make you want your clients to get treatment there?
Do you have many clients come in who need somewhere to go for treatment?
I am not sure this question is coming from an injured party; however, I will state that I want my clients to be treated in a location where they feel comfortable, receive excellent care, have good communication with their providers, have monitored progress and managed care and ultimately meet the goal of full recovery. I need the facility to reflect the values of our firm, particularly with respect to the critical importance of providing excellent customer service, communication, attention to detail and passion for serving our clients.
To me there are two important parts of an injury case.
The MOST important is for the client to recover. That means good medical care.
The other is the legal matter.
To the extent that a client goes to a good doctor or chiropractor, his recovery is better and his legal case also may be better. Good care means more than just treatment. A doctor that is uncooperative in getting records out keeps a client from referrals to specialists AND harms his legal case. A doctor that over or under treats also does harm. Where I think it is appropriate, I will try to refer a client to providers that I feel will help him medically and legally, based on my experience with them. I also believe a client has a right to choose, and I try to work with their medical choices when they make them.
Finally, where bills are a potential problem, we will help find providers who will work with a patient rather than sue the patient.
This question is really five and as my one of my colleagues pointed out it sounds like it is more from a Chiropractor than from a person seeking legal guidance. That said, I am a Chiropractic Physician and an attorney. I may have answered these questions a lot differently in my younger days but after spending more time in Court than with my hands on a spine my views (perspectives) have changed.
1. I would have issue with a PI attorney referring to a specific (particular) doctor of any type. It raises conflicts of interest, bias, and a host of other ethical/professional problems. Insurance carriers and their defense attorneys would have a field day with depositions and in Court with this type of behavior. Juries would view this as a lack of integrity and honesty.
2. I would want my clients to get treatment from wherever and whoever based upon their injuries. First and foremost, I want their family/primary doctor to oversee in many cases. This provider generally has no financial interest in the case, and can triage the patient fully. Unbiased and objective care and their assessments have the most weight in Court. Clinics that specialize in accidents are usually not the place to be with those with more serious injuries. Providing my clients with a "list" of competent and well recognized providers that they can then discuss with their primary is a better course of action.
3. Any doctors giving an attorney "automatic" reports/narratives is suspect in the claims process. Normally if an attorney needs questions answered from a medical provider they will make a request. This will be a request in writing that specifically addresses impairment, disability, long term costs, causation, etc. from a provider. The provider will bill for their time, assessment, and this "report." This doctor may be asked to testify at trial or be deposed. The other time that an attorney may request a report is when an expert witness is hired. This expert will be paid to review a case file, provide opinions, and potentially testify.
4. Clinics (doctors) that want to lawyer please run into a host of problems. As was answered previously, too much or too little treatment is not good legally or medically or ethically. The best way for everyone is the right way. This is a long term approach, and believe me when I tell you that a doctor of any type being just will lead to appropriate referrals and an excellent reputation. Doctors or lawyers trying to dress up or claim that Hamburger is steak are going to have a horrible reputation in the legal community
5. I want my clients to always go to providers that are helping them. I also want providers that are not afraid to work with other types of doctors. Ths unified approach to care is care in the best interests of the patient/client not in the best interests of a clinic/doctor. Doctors that don't refer, that don't get the patient's complete medical file, that don't review those records, that don't consult with their family doctor are doing everyone a great disservice.
Finally, this is 2012, traditional and non traditional healing arts exist, and help thousands of peope. I choose not to discount the value of chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, or any other medical providers. They all have their appropriate time and place. Not everything or anyone is the panacea for all injuries. The problem comes when any one doctor/provider believes that they and they alone are the answer for all types of injuries. If their hubris stems from only interest in financial gain this will be difficult to reconcile legally to a jury.
I would never refer any client to a chiropractor. If a chiropractor is a modest portion of the overall chain of treatment, that is fine. However, I would never accept a case in which chiropractic is the primary mode of treatment. I have withdrawn from representing clients who refused to go to an MD. That is because in my observation jurors and insurers take injury claims much less seriously when the main treatment is chiropractic. Life is too short to waste time on such cases.
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