Whenever an injury occurs, whether through an auto accident, at work, or at home, medical advice should be sought to rule out unseen or hidden issues. Some injuries require advanced imaging studies to identify the tissues involved with the injury. These can include MRI, x-ray, blood tests, etc. Due to the environment and situations of each injury, some patients may require extensive testing and treatment in order to help them to return to their pre-injury health. For this reason, the Doctor-Patient relationship can expand to include other individuals, such as an attorney, insurance adjustor, imaging centers, and more.
When it comes to medical care, and the cost associated with such care, things can get expensive. Our office has affordable cash pay options, and we do our best to work with major medical insurance companies when the patients have chiropractic coverage benefits, but these options do not traditionally apply for individuals involved in auto accidents due to the unexpected nature of office visits and imaging studies. Due to these costs, our office works with a variety of injury attorneys through an agreement called a “letter of protection” in which our office agrees to provide the necessary medical care to the injured individual, while waiting for the insurance settlement that will handle the bills.
Good relationships between the doctor, patient, and attorney are essential in order to ensure that everyone involved with the management of the auto accident walks away happy when the patient has returned to pre-injury status.
Most doctor-patient relationships begin the moment a patient first meets with the doctor face to face. Once this happens, the doctor has a duty to do their best for the patient’s well-being. This could also mean the doctor states that they are not the right fit and refer to another location. The patient’s duty is to comply with the instructions of the doctor. In order to get the most relief, all appointments should be made. If the doctor or patient cannot make an appointment for whatever reason, a phone call should be made. Additionally, the doctor will perform or request additional testing as needed. This helps to ensure that the patient is not performing tests necessarily, and that expenses are managed effectively.
Attorney-Patient (Client) Relationship
In situations of an auto accident or injury that occurred while working, it is sometimes necessary to seek legal counsel. Attorneys dedicate countless hours to understanding the law and protect their clients from being taken advantage of by insurance companies, employers, and the “at fault” party. Most attorneys offer a free consolation with someone seeking advice to determine whether or not their firm would be able to help or not. Our office has a good working relationship with multiple attorneys in the area. When requested, we will help you find someone to represent you that is conveniently located near your home or work.
Both doctors and attorneys want the best for their clients. If during an evaluation the doctor believes the patient needs legal advice, then they may suggest different attorneys they feel would help the most. Likewise, if an attorney sees their client needs medical treatment, they will refer the person or persons to a doctor’s office that would do the most good. The doctor and attorney offices communicate on a regular basis to talk about the progression of the patient that sustained an injury. By working together, the client is protected and relief is achieved at an increased rate.
The most important thing to consider regarding the doctor attorney relationship is that those involved truly have the patient’s best interest in mind. Even though we have comfortably worked with various attorneys in the Houston area, the number one concern is to make sure that the patient is being taken care of appropriately. Our office does not participate in “kick back” programs, or receive “referral bonuses.” The last thing we want to go through either the patient’s mind, or the insurance company’s system is the idea that something shady is going on.