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Personal injury cases can involve anything from car accidents to slip and falls, defective products to medical malpractice. These accidents are often devastating for the injured victim, who may have to deal with tens of thousands in medical bills, lost time at work and permanent disabilities.
A personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. Despite the fact that each case is unique, there are some standard steps that most personal injury attorneys follow.
1. The Law Requires You to See a Doctor
If you have a workers’ compensation injury, your employer is required by law to send you to a qualified doctor. However, it is not always easy to find a doctor who will agree to treat you for the injuries you have sustained.
For instance, your workers’ comp insurance company may have a preferred provider organization (PPO), which is a network of doctors who have agreed to provide care to plan members at a certain price. The problem is that doctors who work for PPOs are often very close to the employers or insurance companies they serve, and there are sometimes issues of bias in determining whether the treatments you need are reasonable and necessary. To make matters worse, your workers’ comp insurance company may refuse to allow you to change your treating doctor. This is why it’s important to get the best treatment you can from a doctor you trust. This may be the key to recovering the full benefits you deserve from your workers’ compensation claim.
2. You May Have a Case Even If You Don’t Feel Hurt
It’s not uncommon for an accident victim to fail to realize how severely injured they are until the healing process is well underway. For example, a victim may be suffering from whiplash or a concussion whose symptoms don’t manifest themselves until days or even weeks after the incident. So, while you may not feel pain, you still need to see a doctor and keep your personal injury lawyer in the loop on any aches and pains. In the world of personal injury law, the best way to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve is to work with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.
4. You Must Attend a Doctor’s Examination
A doctor’s examination is a great opportunity for your physician to get information about your overall health. They may ask you about diet, weight loss or exercise plans, and they will check your blood pressure and heart rate.
The doctor may also ask about your drug use and alcohol consumption. Be honest about your current habits and your past medical history.
Your doctor might also do a heart and lung exam, which involves listening to your heart with a stethoscope to detect crackles, wheezes or decreased breath sounds. These are clues to a possible heart or lung disease.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company might request an independent medical examination, or IME, from a doctor chosen and paid by them to evaluate your claim. It is important to have your personal injury attorney present at this examination and to have it recorded. This will ensure that you do not have to rely on memory in future lawsuits.