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Who to See After an Accident

Categories:Auto Accidents, Inside Look By Brooks

Today on Inside Look by Brook’s, Steve Brooks explains who you should see if you’ve been involved in an accident.

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INTRODUCTION
Steve Brooks here with the Brook’s Law Group. Welcome to Friday’s Inside Look by Brooks. I hope everybody had a good week. Hopefully, we’re going to get some cool weather tomorrow. I am really looking forward to that. In a way, I feel like I’ve been a little cheated out of my February and January. So, I’m looking forward to cool weather. Couple of events coming up for us: we’re doing the Chili Cook Off this weekend in Haines City. And then, I believe March 31st – April 1st, we’re going to be doing the Cuban Sandwich Festival in Yborn City, which is where our Tampa Office is located. It’s a huge festival, so come out and see us at the end of the month.

WHO YOU SHOULD SEE AFTER AN ACCIDENT
So, I was sitting around, talking with some attorneys in the firm, and I was asking them what is the most common question or push back you get from clients about what doctor to see after an accident, and a lot of clients are stuck on “Well, I want to go to my family doctor.” And, what that I understand is, their family doctor is probably a general practitioner or an internal medicine doctor, and those guys are great for diagnosing and treating the flu; treating internal things like hepatitis, heart disease, issues with pulmonary – your lungs. They rarely see traumatic type injuries which you might suffer in a car accident. Another thing about your general M.D., general practitioner and family practitioner that most of those individuals are intimidated by the legal system – they don’t want to have anything to do with it. They don’t want to be called to a deposition, they don’t want to go to trial, they don’t want to sit in the witness stand and raise their right hand and the guy asking questions to the lawyer is someone who might sue them at some time for malpractice. So, I know of this because my father was an internal medicine doctor. He did not want anything to do with the legal system. If an accident victim came in, I mean he had loyal-loyal patients, he loved his patients; but he knew he was not trained and educated in treating traumatic injuries. He was an internal medicine doctor, or a family doctor. The other thing that most family doctors and internal medicine doctors don’t do is they don’t know the lingo. They don’t know how to document the file and the injury. So the reports we get from them are sometimes barebones and don’t really support the true injury that is there. So, we do know doctors that are trained to treat acute traumatic type injuries – soft tissue type injuries. You know, sometimes a good place to start is a chiropractor. You know, I grew up being the son of a doctor. I grew up thinking; I didn’t have the fondest opinion of chiropractors to start with. But I’ve grown to really admire their work. They understand soft tissue injury. They understand when it may be more than a soft tissue injury, like a herniated disk. They know when to refer you out for an MRI or a CAT scan. You know, a lot of times we have clients that come to us, and they’ve been in a bad wreck, but the property damage was $10,000, the car was totaled, they went to the hospital. The Hospital ER, who you would think would be totally trained in trauma, and they are if it’s a broken bone or if you’re cut. But if you have a soft tissue injury, the ER is not the place to get a diagnosis. Many times they’ll take an X-ray, they’ll check for broken bones, and they’ll send you home with some Motrin and say “You’re okay.” What they don’t tell you is the X-ray is not going to a herniated disk, a serious injury to the disk in your spine or neck.

WHY YOU SHOULD SEE A SPECIALIST AND NOT JUST A GENERAL PRACTITIONER So, again, chiropractors/orthopedic surgeons/pain management specialist/neurosurgeons/neurologists those are all specialties that are trained and accustom to seeing traumatic type injuries to the spine, and they understand soft tissue injuries and how they affect your daily life. So, we kind of know the doctors that understand that, and we know the doctor’s that don’t understand that and don’t want to be involved in any kind of case that might involve having to go to course. So obviously we prefer that you go to a doctor that understands the system, understands that they may have to go to court and testify on their behalf, and understands the acuteness of soft tissue injury and how it can affect you. So, if you come to us and have a question about what doctor to go to, we can give you a list of doctor’s we’ve worked with in the past, that we know understand how the legal and medical system interface and work together, and we’ll be glad to share that with you, but it’s really, really important to establish early on with a treater who understands soft tissue injury, understands more than just broken bones and cuts, because your internal injuries many times are not going to show up on an X-ray. You may look fine on an X-ray, you may look fine to be standing there, but have a serious herniated disk that nobody’s going to tell you about, or diagnose if you don’t go to the right doctors. So, that’s some of the most common misconception, or misperception that people have when they push back and say “No, I don’t want to go to a new doctor that I don’t know. I want to go to my family doctor.” You know, there’s actually some clinic in the areas that we practice, big multi-specialty clinics, that when you go in there and tell them you’re in an auto accident, and even if it’s been your family doctor for 20 years, they won’t see you because they’re telling you up front “I don’t want anything to do with interrupting my schedule to go to a deposition or to court. I don’t want to play in that arena,” so they just refuse, absolutely, to do that kind of work, and that’s okay that’s up to them. They might not have the personality that can understand the pressures that go along with being a doctor in that arena. But you definitely want to get someone who is confident medically, and isn’t afraid to interface with the legal system.

CONCLUSION
So, I hope that helps you understand about what you might do when you reach out for a physician or doctor after an accident. Let’s hope you’re never in an accident, but if you are, you know what to do. If we can ever help you, feel free to reach out to me with any questions. My email address is steve@brookslawgroup.com. That’s steve@brookslawgroup.com. We’re an all injuries law firm, practicing throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Winter Haven, Auburndale, and Lakeland and look forward to serving you. Thanks for joining me today, and we’ll look forward to seeing you next Friday at 3 o’clock. Thanks.

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