After suffering personal injury due to an auto collision, different people make a variety of choices in their recovery care. Some go straight to the Emergency Room, some seek treatment from a chiropractor, while others may seek treatment in a specialized auto injury clinic where they may receive physical therapy, massage, acupuncture among other treatments. The one problem I have seen in many clients’ timeline of treatment is that they fail to include their primary care physician in that timeline.
After winning another trial in March of this year, we were able to speak with the jury about the winning aspects of our case as well as the troublesome areas of our case. One the biggest problems the jury found with our plaintiff’s case was that our plaintiff did not include her primary care doctor in any of her care. She had seen physical therapists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and pain doctors who administered facet injections. Unfortunately, she had not included her primary care physician in any of her care. While she saw her primary care physician for other medical matters unrelated to the collision, she did not discuss her injuries from the collision with her primary care physician. Our plaintiff’s care required future medical needs that included additional facet injections. She had not discussed her future medical needs, especially the future facet injections with her primary care doctor, thus her primary care doctor did not have any opinion as to whether the future facet injections were medically necessary. The jury found the absence of our plaintiff’s primary care doctor in her treatment timeline as troublesome, and for that reason they did not award any damages to our plaintiff for the future facet injections that is medically necessary. The jurors were very upfront in telling us that the absence of our plaintiff’s primary care doctor treatment, as well as the absence of her opinion regarding the future injections were two of the main reasons they did not award a larger verdict for future medical care.
Going through injury recovery is painful, stressful, and difficult to mange when there are so many healthcare providers involved. But it is extremely important to keep your primary care physician in the loop of your care. Much like gaps in medical treatment, leaving your primary care physician out of your recovery timeline can affect your ability to maximize your recovery, especially for future medical needs. This mistake can be fatal to your case. Check out other mistakes that can kill your case in our free e-book “The Biggest Mistakes That Will Kill Your Case.”